The Magdalen Reading
is one of three surviving fragments of a large mid-15th century oil-on-oak altarpiece
by the early Netherlandish
painter Rogier van der Weyden
. Completed some time between 1435 and 1438, it has been in the National Gallery
, London since 1860. It shows a woman with the pale skin, high cheek bones and oval eyebrows typical of the idealised portraits of noble women of the period. The woman is identifiable as the Magdalen
from the jar of ointment placed in the foreground, which, according to the Gospels, she used to clean Christ's feet.
The background of the painting had been overpainted with a thick layer of brown paint. A cleaning between 1955 and 1956 revealed the figure standing behind the Magdalen and the kneeling figure with bare feet protruding in front of her, with a landscape visible through a window. The original altarpiece was a sacra conversazione known only through a drawing, Virgin and Child with Saints.
The panel was purchased by the National Gallery from a collector in Paris. It is described by art historian Lorne Campbell as "one of the great masterpieces of 15th-century art and among van der Weyden's most important early works."
The cover to the June 1914 issue of Vanity Fair, an American magazine published from 1913 to 1936 by Condé Montrose Nast, the first of many published by his company Condé Nast Publications. Nast purchased a men's fashion magazine titled Dress in 1913 and renamed it Dress and Vanity Fair. In 1914, the title was shortened to Vanity Fair. During its run, it competed with The New Yorker as the American establishment's top culture chronicle and featured writing by Thomas Wolfe, T. S. Eliot, P. G. Wodehouse, and Dorothy Parker. However, it became a casualty of the Great Depression and declining advertising revenues, and it was folded into Vogue in 1936. In 1983, Condé Nast revived the title as a new publication.