Noli Me TangereThe Latin words 'Noli Me Tangere' mean 'Do not touch me', and refer to the episode of Mary Magdalene's first encounter with Christ after his Resurrection. Having discovered that his body had disappeared from the tomb, and thinking it had been removed, she met a man she believed to be a gardener and begged him to tell her where he had put Christ's body. Jesus addressed her by name, whereupon she recognised him and reached out to touch him. But he told her not to touch him, as he had not yet ascended to heaven (John 20: 17).
In paintings of the scene, Mary Magdalene is shown kneeling and reaching out her hands to Christ, who gently leans away from her.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN