The Master of the Legend of the Magdalen (sometimes called the Master of the Magdalen Legend) was an Early Netherlandish painter, active from about 1483 to around 1527. He has not been identified; his name of convenience is derived from a large, now-dispersed altarpiece with scenes from the life of Mary Magdalene, which has been dated to between 1515 and 1520 based on the costumes of the donor portraits. However other works attributed to him are extremely difficult to date with any accuracy. Many paintings have been linked with the triptych, which is thought to have been finished late in the artist's career. Other major works include his two Magdalen panels in London.
He is sometimes associated with Pieter van Coninxloo based on similarities of style, time and location. A number of art historians, including Max Friedländer, who first made the association between the works now attributed to the Master of the Legend of the Magdalen, have speculated that they may have been the same person. It is possible also that van Coninxloo for a time was a member of the master's workshop.
Master of the Magdalen Legend - "The Magdalen" 1510-20
13 versions of a portrait format image of "The Magdalen" were painted by the Master of the Magdalen Legend and his workshop between the years of 1510-20. This piece in particular was originally thought to depict Mary of Burgundy under the guise of the Magdalen, but it has since been discovered to be her daughter, Margaret of Austria. The faint gilding in the shape of a halo above the head of the sitter implies it is of a saint, and she wears a dress similar to those worn by 16th century courtesans, which was representative of Mary Magdalene's sinful past. The jar of ointment which she holds was the usual attribute of the Magdalen, as she was known for pouring this ointment on Jesus's feet.