NGV National Gallery of Victoria

The genius of the 16th century

Antonio Correggio
Italian c.1489–1534
Noli me tangere c.1525
oil on wood panel transferred to canvas
130.0 x 103.0 cm
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (P00111)
Spanish Royal Collection
The High Renaissance was a time of incredible achievements in science, technology, mathematics, literature, philosophy and art that inextricably transformed Italian society. Artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael were not simply spectators or recorders of these momentous times, but were integral to the reforms that took place.

The period saw fundamental shifts in ideas about humanity and the place of the individual in society. These debates impacted directly on art as they affected how artists depicted the human form and the world around them. As progressive thinkers re-examined classical history, artists’ notions of beauty became grounded in the idealised forms of Greek and Roman Antiquity. Artists also turned their eyes increasingly to the natural world for inspiration.