Gian Maria Morlaiter
Noli Me Tangere

18th century
Relief plaque
Church of Santa Maria del Rosario ("The Gesuati"), Venice, Italy

The implements at Christ's feet reference Mary Magdalene's initial misperception that he was a gardener. Noli me tangere images with gardening implements refer to the idea that he was a "spiritual gardener" who had implanted the "seeds of virtue" in Mary. The fence in the background makes the scene a "garden enclosed" as in the Song of Solomon, where Christ professes his love for his bride, the soul of the repentant sinner. Mary's kneeling references first her exclamation Rabboni ("Master") and also portrays her as a penitent.

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Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.