Master of the Göttingen »Barfüsseraltar«, also known as »Master of the Hildesheim Legend of Magdalen« active during the first quarter of the 15th century
»Noli me tangere (Do Not Touch Me)«

c. 1416, Tempera and oil on oak

While lamenting the disappearance of the Lord after discovering the empty sepulchre, Mary Magdalen encounters Him in the figure of a gardener. Recognising Christ by his call, she hears the words: »Do not touch me, for I have not yet risen to my father …«

Along with other fragments now distributed among several different museums, this painting was once part of the high altar of the Church of Mary Magdalen in Hildesheim, the interior wing panels of which were adorned with scenes from the legend of Mary Magdalen. The linearity of the drawing and the austerity of the work suggest that the artist was familiar with the International Style (scholarly term used to designate a pan-European style practised around 1400) only in its uniquely German form. At the same time, however, the painting reflects an intensified interest in the conquest of reality through visual means. The Stuttgart panel, whose theme also gives legitimacy to the depiction of nature, offers evidence of this in the intimate relationship between the figure and the garden detail. [ EW ]

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