Claude Lorrain is renowned for his light-suffused paintings of ideal landscapes with figures. He executed this work in 1681 for the Roman cardinal Fabrizio Spada. Depicted in the foreground is the risen Christ appearing on Easter morning to Mary Magdalene. With the words “Noli me tangere” (“Touch me not”), he keeps her from approaching him. On the right, the other two Marys can be seen with the angel in front of Christ’s empty tomb. Here, the biblical subject provides, above all, a welcome occasion for a well-wrought and extensive ideal landscape.
In 1905 Carl Schaub, who lived in Frankfurt's Westend district, created a foundation which was to inherit his fortune of about one million marks. In agreement with the Städel administration, the foundation's advisory board was to use the interest to purchase art for the museum. According to the records of Dr. Alexander Berg, the lawyer entrusted with the task and an administrator at the Städel, after he had signed his will Schaub formally expressed his thanks as a donor and wished all the best for the future. During the following night, on 21 June 1905, the fifty-four-year-old Schaub took his own life. Even before the First World War, the interest from the foundation enabled the Städel to purchase pictures by Claude Lorrain and Tintoretto. Today the works purchased with the funds from the Carl Schaub Foundation are primarily destined for the Graphische Sammlung.