Mary Magdalene by Pietro Perugino, Pitti Palace in Florence, Italy.

While visiting the Pitti Palace in Florence I asked a rather stern-looking guard: Of all the work here, which one is your favorite? After some thought, he had me follow him back into another room. He went up and looked closely at a small painting and then stepped back…


It was a portrait of Mary Magdalene by Pietro Perugino, a teacher of Raphael. The reason he appreciated it was unexpected: it reminded him of someone he once knew.

Art can be a pretty self-indulgent activity with consequences being a predictable sensibility and closed communities. Throughout my life art has served as a connection to the lives of others. I would be interested to see/read more of similar experiences. What happens when you ask someone to share their favorite artwork?