Sunday, April 12, 2009
Noli Me Tangere
This is Noli me tangere, which means "Touch me not," painted by Titian in 1511-12. It depicts Mary Magdalen at the moment when she recognizes the risen Christ. The painting hangs in the National Gallery in London and I was priviledged to see it in person a few years ago.
This painting has a wonderful history. During World War II, the museum moved the entire collection to various places in the country to protect it from the Blitz. But the war-weary Londoners pleaded with the authorities to leave them something to remind them that there was hope. They asked for Noli me tangere to remain. People would stand in line for hours in the empty museum for the chance to file past this one single painting. In a time when people didn't know if the next bombing raid would hit their homes, they needed reassurance that there was life beyond this one.
Wishing you a Happy Easter, Happy Passover, and Happy Spring.