Cesare Nebbia
Mary Magdalene and the Resurrected Christ

After 1579
Magdalene Chapel
Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli e Martiri, Rome

In John 20 St. Mary Magdalene at first mistakes Christ for a gardener but then recognizes him and says Rabboni ("Master"). Here we see her saying that word on her knees. Before her she has placed what I take to be a spice jar, referencing either her conventional attribute or the spices that she and her companions had taken to the tomb (Mark 16:1, Luke 24:1).

Christ is pictured as a gardener, with a wide-brimmed hat, a garden spade, and a little flower box to the right. He wears a white exomis, typical garb for a first-century peasant, but the purple mantle and bare feet would hardly suit a gardener.

In the left background is the cave opening with a broken door. The man in the lower left corner is of course the donor.

Works of this type are sometimes called "Noli Me Tangere," the Latin for "Do not touch me," which Christ says to Mary Magdalene. Those words are implied by his gesture with his right hand.

Read more about the Resurrection and about St. Mary Magdalene.

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