Mary Magdalene

Hans Holbein the Younger, Noli me tangere (Touch me not) (detail), 1498–1543. Oil on oak panel, Royal Collection of the United Kingdom.

Hans Holbein the Younger is thought to have painted this piece between 1526 and 1528 during his first visit to London. This subject, commonly called “Noli me tangere,” depicts the moment in John 20:17 when Mary Magdalene realizes the gardener she sees near the tomb is Jesus and reaches for him. The risen Christ responds "Noli me tangere" ("Touch me not"). As the discoverer of Christ's empty tomb, Mary Magdalene was the first of Christ's followers to experience the absence of his body. Images of her became very popular in England during the Reformation, as English Catholics wondered what impact the loss of the body of Christ of the Eucharist would have on their spirituality and salvation.

Noli me tangere (detail). Oil on oak panel, circa 1524.

A sixteenth-century movement in Europe that questioned the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

John 20:17

17Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father a ... View more

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