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 Scorel, Jan van (Flemish painter and draftsman, 1495-1562) , Noli Me Tangere triptych (central panel)

Core Record

Title Noli Me Tangere triptych (central panel)
Alternative Title Wezelaar Triptych
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Scorel, Jan van (Flemish painter and draftsman, 1495-1562)
Date Earliest about 1548
Date Latest about 1554
Description The main panel of this triptych depicts the meeting of Christ and Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection. Mary was the first to see the risen Christ and the title Noli Me Tangere, or 'do not touch me', were Christ's first words to her according to the Latin Vulgate account. Christ is unexpectedly dressed, wearing the clothes and carrying the spade of a gardener. This refers to the textual reference in the Gospel of St John where the Mary Magdalene is said to have at first mistaken the Resurrected Christ for a gardener.

This triptych was almost certainly commissioned as a family memorial by Joost Hendricksz Van der Stijpen van Duivelandt for the Nieuwe Kerk at Delft about 1550.

Current Accession Number 1952P9b
Former Accession Number P.9´52
Subject religion (Noli me Tangere)
Measurements 173.0 x 116.5 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on panel
Acquisition Details Purchased with the aid of the National Art-Collections Fund 1952.
Provenance Nieuwe Kirk, Delft; Duyst van Voorhout family; by descent through marriage of Master Joost Henricksz.; presented by Hendrick van Slingelandt, the Burgomaster of the Hague, to the Annahofje, Leyden (founded by Joost Hendricksz.'s grandparents), 1757; S. Meerburg, Leyden, 1850; M. B. Wezelaar, Haarlem, c. 1894; Consul Weber, Hamburg sale, Lepke, Berlin, 20 February 1912, lot 89, bought by Breulle (on behalf of A. Orenstein); taken to South Africa, 1920; A. Orenstein sale, Sotheby's, 18 June 1952, lot 57.
Principal Exhibitions Tentoonstelling van Oude Schilderkunst Utrecht, Leiden 1850, cat. no. 110; Jan van Scorel, Nieuwe Kirk , 1894, cat. no. 193; Between Renaissance and Baroque, Nieuwe Kirk. 1955, cat. no. 67; Old Masters from the City of Birmingham, Manchester Art Gallery, 1965, cat. no. 216; Old Masters from Birmingham, Wildenstein and Company, 1970, cat. no. 8.
Publications Levin, T. H., Kunstchronik, 1895, p. 52; Hofstede de Groot, C., Oud Holland, vol. 13, 1895, pp. 46 - 54; Moes, E. W., Iconographia Batava, vol. 1, 1897, no. 2227-2233, idem II, 1905, no. 5677; Woemann, K., Wissenchaftliches Verzeichnis der älteren Gemälde der Galerie Weber, Hamburg, 1907, no. 80; Hoogewerff, G. J., Jan van Scorel: Peinture de la Renaissance Hollandaise, 1923, p.136, ill.; Friedländer, M. J., Die Altneiderländische Malerei, 12, 1935, p.301; de Jonge, Jan van Scorel, 1940, p. 58; De Jonge, C. H., Oud Holland, vol. 68, 1953, pp. 189-199; Catalogue of Paintings in Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, 1960; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, 1983, no. 133; Convent, C., Leven na de dood. Gedenken in de late Middeleenwen, Utrecht Museum, 1999, p 71-2.
Notes See Old Masters from the City of Birmingham, Wildenstein and Co. Ltd., 1970 (ex cat) for full transcription of extensive transcriptions on reverse of wings.

This was certainly executed before 1554, when Scorel was commissioned to paint the high altar in the Nieuwe Kirk.

A considerable amount of studio intervention has been postulated in the side panels, and certainly the portraits are very uneven in quality and character. The unsatisfactory quality of many of the donor portraits may be owing to their being copies of earlier portraits or 'ideal' portraits where the sitters were dead and no likenesses existed (Cannon-Brookes, Old Masters from Birmingham, Wildenstein and Company (ex cat) 1970).

Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth



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