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The Cover
April 25, 2001

The Temptation of the Magdalene

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2001;285(16):2052. doi:10.1001/jama.285.16.2052

During the first half of the 17th century, Flemish art was dominated by three masters: Rubens, van Dyck, and Jacob Jordaens the Elder (1593-1678), in roughly that order of fame and influence. When Rubens and van Dyck died in 1640 and 1641, aged 63 and 42 years, respectively, the 48-year-old Jordaens was left the undisputed master, a position he would enjoy for almost 40 years. The paths of the three had crossed often. Rubens and Jordaens had been trained in the Antwerp studio of Adam van Noort, although Rubens had been there considerably before Jordaens and had stayed only briefly, probably less than a year. Jordaens and van Dyck were assistants in Rubens' workshop and were, to some extent, competitors. By the time he was 22, Jordaens was a member of the Guild of St Luke in Antwerp under the classification of waterschilder, or watercolor painter. By the following year he was also painting in oils, a medium he apparently preferred. That same year, on May 15, he married Catharina van Noort, daughter of his teacher. Although few of Jordaens' works are dated, it was also probably about this time, 1616/1617, that he painted The Temptation of the Magdalene (cover ).