This scene from “Noli me tangere”, which can be translated as “Don't touch me” has been quite represented at certain times in the story. For example, Corregio also did it at the beginning of the 16th century, since the painting by Titian that we see here and that is exhibited in the National Gallery in London, the Italian artist did it around the year 1512,
Noli me tangere by Titian
The scene is based on the Gospel of Saint John, according to which, when Jesus rose from the dead, he came out of the tomb and met Mary Magdalene. She did not recognize him at first, but when she identified him, she wanted to heal his wounds from the Crucifixion, however, Jesus Christ did not let her, since he had not yet ascended to heaven, and told her: "don't touch me."
It is a work of relative youth by Titian, and as in others of this period, one can see an influence of Giorgone in the treatment of color, and it is that Giorgone acted as teacher and even worked together on some work. But, Titian, the master of Venetian art par excellence, here shows us very interested in what his colleagues from Florence were doing for those very dates of the Renaissance, especially regarding the human figure.
That is the reason for the forced posture of the two characters and the continuous movement they present to us. Something that he achieved based on multiple previous drawings on paper, whichthen transferred to canvas. In the same way as the landscape background, he would also work on paper sketches before, since in fact he has used it very similarly in other works. Even so, in this case, the x-rays of the painting have shown that initially the landscape was in a different way and with another layout, however, it did not convince him in the end because it broke the harmony and balance with the central group, so he modified it on the canvas.
With these changes he was able to capture three shots in the painting. The first is obviously that of Jesus and the Magdalene. While the third is the landscape. But there is an intermediate one embodied in the tree, which manages to create air, an atmosphere in the painting. In addition to that compositionally it has its function in terms of the dynamism of the characters. And it is that if we look at the tree it is like an extension of the woman, giving more weight to her expressiveness and counteracting the forced curve that Jesus makes to prevent them from touching his wound. An anatomical curve that is also prolonged in the landscape, since it seems that its line is followed by the hill that serves as a seat for the people on the right side of the canvas.
In short, there is a whole set design study, which is the result of a long work, of sketches, tests and changes. A great way to find out how he workedTitianbefore he became the most valued master in all of Europe