CARACCIOLO, Giovanni Battista
(b. 1578, Napoli, d. 1635, Napoli)

Noli me tangere

c. 1620
Oil on canvas, 209 x 131 cm
Museo Civico, Prato

Caracciolo was one of the first and most important Neapolitan exponents of the Caravaggesque trends straddling luminism and naturalism between 1607 and 1615. Around 1618, however, the artist turned to monumental forms and carefully studied compositional solutions, taking up the example of Annibale Carracci in particular. The attribution of the present painting to Caracciolo was confirmed when his initials were noted on the vase of ointment.

Regarding the iconography of Christ wearing a gardener's hat, the same solution had been adopted in the sixteenth century in some cases, e.g. by Lavinia Fontana.