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Picturing a World

Noli me tangere

In the Bible, it is Mary Magdalene who first witnesses the Risen Christ (John 20:14–17). She mistakes for him a gardener until he reveals his true identity, whereupon he tells her not to touch him yet (“Noli me tangere” in the Vulgate Latin). In medieval and Renaissance iconography, a shovel is frequently included in depictions of that encounter to signify that Christ as the second Adam redeems the first (who was, after all, a gardener in Eden). I collect such images because they are sources of information on tools and garden details in various periods, especially the 13th–17th centuries. (Note that the shovel shown here is wooden with a metal tip.)

For a 15th C carving from an altarpiece, click here.

For an example of the garden at its most basic, a simple fenced enclosure, click here and scroll down through a beautifully illustrated essay on Renaissance gardens.

For Albrecht Dürer’s 1511 woodcut depicting Christ wearing a wonderful gardener’s hat, click here.

For a sumptuous mid 16th C example that shows a splendid garden at the beginning of the formal style that the Renicks still honor, click here.

I have run across few post-Renaissance examples of the topic; but since it seems to me one that might interest a woman artist, maybe one day I'll have Jeanette take it up. Meanwhile, do any of you know of 19th C examples in any medium?

Happy Easter!
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