Noli me tangere (Correggio)
|Noli me tangere|
|Dimensions||130 cm (51 in) × 103 cm (41 in)|
The first mention of the painting is in the manuscript of Pietro Lamo's Graticola di Bologna, dating to around 1560 and stating it was in the house of the Ercolani counts. It is also praised by Vasari in two passages in his Lives of the Artists of 1568, once in Correggio's own biography and once in that of Girolamo da Carpi. It was seen in Bologna at the end of the 16th century by cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, who paid a very high price to buy it.
It later passed from the Alobrandini collection to that of Ludovico Ludovisi, as shown by (for example) a postscript to Vasari's Lives by Lelio Guidiccioni: "at present the Most Illustrious Lodovisio has four other marvellous works in one room, seen by me on 7 March 1621". Little more than ten years later Prince Niccolò Ludovisi - "in the necessity of anguish" - decided to curry favour with Philip IV of Spain by giving him the best works from his collection. One of these was the Noli me tangere, which left Rome in the late 1630s or early 1640s, once a copy had been made of it. It arrived in Madrid by the end of 1643, after a brief stop in the Kingdom of Naples. It is now in the Prado Museum.