3 hours in the Museum
- Reference number
- Noli me tangere
- Ca. 1525
- 130 cm x 103 cm
- On display
- Colección Real (Niccolò Ludovisi, príncipe de Piombino; regalada a Felipe IV, 1644; Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid, sacristía, 1657; Monasterio de El Escorial, sacristía principal, h. 1698; Monasterio de El Escorial, sacristía, 1788; Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1813).
Kneeling and richly dressed in sixteenth-century style, Mary Magdalene recognizes Christ resurrected with the appearance of a gardener. This scene depicts Christ's first apparition after his death, as told in the New Testament (John 20, 11-18). Mary Magdalene has just recognized her Master who, standing next to some farming tools, points to the sky, telling her: “Touch me not (Noli me tangere), for I am not yet ascended to my Father”.
The detail with which the work is painted indicates that it was commissioned for the chapel of the Ercolani Family in Bologna, making it one of the few private commissions painted by Correggio before returning to Parma in 1520 after his period of training in Rome.
The composition is extraordinarily balanced, so that Mary Magdalene's instability is offset by the serenity of Christ, while the background is lit by the dawn.
Prince Ludovisi gave this work to Felipe IV (1605-1665), who had it hung in the Monastery of El Escorial.