Maddelena Penitente by Donatello is at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence, Italy. It is a statue of St. Mary Magdalen, carved from wood and painted, though little of the paint remains. The Catholic Encyclopedia describes her as follows:

In the New Testament she is mentioned among the women who accompanied Christ and ministered to Him (Luke 8:2-3), where it is also said that seven devils had been cast out of her (Mark 16:9). She is next named as standing at the foot of the cross (Mark 15:40; Matthew 27:56; John 19:25; Luke 23:49). She saw Christ laid in the tomb, and she was the first recorded witness of the Resurrection.

Others have a stranger reading, like this person. I assume Donatello knew the traditional story of the Magdalen as a penitent person who was rescued from her sinful life by Jesus. Her life changed dramatically after meeting Jesus: she became a new person, and serving Him gave meaning to her life. Then she saw Him cruelly tortured and killed. Her life shattered. She went to the tomb early on Easter Sunday and found His body gone. The angel tells her He is risen. What does this mean? How should she live? She has known Him as a man; now she realizes He is the Son of God. And she realizes her profound separation from Him.

In the picture, the statue stands brilliantly lit in middle of the room. Try to imagine it in a dark niche in a cathedral, lit only by candles. She is late in life. She is lean, sinewy, all of the fat carved off by a life of penitence and indifference to mundane things like food. Her mouth is open in toothless prayer. Her eyes are sunk deep into her head. Her hair merges with the rags she is wearing. Both look like mud. She has no interest in the things of this world. She is waiting miserably but patiently for the next where she will be reunited with Jesus.

The punishment of the damned is separation from the Beatific Vision, separation from the Almighty. Donatello shows us the dreadful pain of that separation.