Painting shows innovation of Titian, his Venice contemporaries

Critical Eye


It is Easter Sunday morning and Mary Magdalena, the repentant sinner who renounced her old way of life to follow Christ, has come to mourn at his tomb. But he is no longer there: The stone sealing the entrance has been moved, and when Mary peers inside she is astonished to find the burial vault empty.

Suddenly, a voice from behind her beckons and, turning, she recognizes the resurrected Christ standing before her. Overcome with emotion, she falls on her knees and reaches out to touch his garment; but he draws back saying, "Noli me tangere" -- do not touch me -- for he will soon join his heavenly father and is no longer of this world.

BELLINI, GIORGIONE, TITIAN AND THE RENAISSANCE OF VENETIAN PAINTING / / Through Sept. 17 / / National Gallery of Art in Washington / / 202-737-4215 or visit

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