Noli Me Tangere, c. 1818
Italia und Germania (1815-1828), Oil on canvas, Neue Pinakothek.
Italia und Germania was initially a response to Franz Pforr’s 1810 diptych Sulamith und Maria. Shulamit, a Jewish woman named in verse 7 of Solomon’s Song, rests her head against Mary, the symbol of Christian motherhood.
Overbeck wrote: ”Italia and Germania…confront each other with a foreign presence…my mission is now to melt them into one. It is on one hand a tribute to the homeland and on the other, a charm of everything beautiful and lordly…”
Johann Friedrich Overbeck (1789–1869)