Emotional Women: Grief Contained and Grief Exposed at Santa Maria della Vita

Mary Magdalene has a reputation for being emotional, if not unstable. Meanwhile Mary the mother of Jesus is usually depicted as supernaturally composed, her emotion perfectly contained beneath a serene expression. She’s not human; she’s all saint. Reflecting on a set of terracotta sculptures in Bologna and a Dorothy Sayer’s play, I consider how we can move from caricature to complexity in our understanding of these two women.

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