Mary Magdalene was created as a result of an invitation to Cassandra Barney to appear in an Artist Guild International show called Art of the Restoration in Salt Lake City. The artists are commissioned to create a piece of art based on their own vision of a gospel theme. “I envisioned the scene at the tomb and wondered about Mary Magdalene, after her conversation with the resurrected Savior. I pictured Mary in thoughtful relief,” says the artist.
“The elements represented in this painting all have symbolic meaning. The cross was constructed from the dogwood tree. The white dogwood blossoms fall around the figure to symbolize the suffering that is past. Ivy symbolizes the path where Christ walked. Primula is a flower of compassion and also a symbol of resurrection. The crocus represents of the resurrection and heavenly bliss. A chrysanthemum was present when Christ was laid in the tomb. Easter Lilies symbolize the pure soul’s resurrection and the Oriental poppy symbolizes Christ’s blood. The passionflower that Mary holds represents Christ’s wounds and the begonia symbolizes the heart of Jesus.
“The egg hanging in the tree was inspired by a story I read about Mary and the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Mary Magdalene, following the death and resurrection of Jesus, arranged to meet Emperor Tiberius. She held an egg in her hand and exclaimed ‘Christ is risen!’ Tiberius said that was as likely as the egg in her hand turning red while she held it, where upon the egg in her hand turned a bright red. Mary went on to talk about the life and teachings of Jesus to the imperial gathering.”