Saturday, 15 November 2014

Michelangelo's Pietà

The Pietà is possibly the most famous of carvings and paintings in the history of Christian art. The scene depicts the body of Christ just after it has been taken down from the Cross cradled in the arms of His Mother, the Virgin Mary. Other Pietàs depict the body cradled by other figures, but in most paintings and sculptures it is Mary.

The sculpture shown above is by Michelangelo and is located in St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.

It is unique among Michelangelo's sculptures, because it was the only one he ever signed. When he heard that people thought it was sculpted by another sculptor, Cristoforo Solari, Michelangelo carved his signature on the sash the Virgin Mary wears on her breast.
Michelangelo sculpted another Pietà known as The Deposition, or Florence Pietà.

It depicts the dead body of Christ, Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea in the hood, Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary.

Michelangelo worked on this sculpture from 1547 to 1553. It is believed he wanted it to decorate his tomb, and that the hooded figure is a self-portrait of Michelangelo himself. However, he smashed the sculpture after working on it for about eight years because he discovered an impurity in the marble.

It was eventually restored by its new owner.

10 comments:

  1. I never knew that Victor. Thank you for sharing!
    God Bless.

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  2. I love The Pieta, Victor. I never knew about the other sculpture though. Beautiful!

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    1. Hi Mary,

      A number of artists, over the years, made sculptures and paintings of the scene of Christ taken down from the Cross. They are know as Pietas and the most famous is of course the one in the Vatican. The second one was smashed because of impurities in the marble. One can say that Michelangelo lost his marbles. (This is an English joke - not sure how it goes in the US).

      God bless you, Mary.

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  3. Funny! It means the same in the US!

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    1. I'm glad the joke travels well across the water. I'm never sure if what I say has the same meaning in the US.

      God bless.

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  4. Victor, Michelangelo's works are heart-stopping. I still remember seeing the Pieta in the Vatican as a young girl and not being able to process how anyone could have made that with his hands. It had such a profound effect on me. Love your art commentary posts. Your an updated Sister Wendy LOL

    Blessings always +

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    1. I'm glad you enjoy my art series of posts Caroline. It's good to see you visiting here again. Thanx.

      God bless.

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  5. I thought I commented here last night. I must have not hit publish. I think I said something to the effect that the Pieta is one of the greatest pieces of art ever. Magnificent.

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    1. It happens to me often, Manny, that I write something wonderful or clever and then forget to press "Publish". It's annoying because I don't often write something wonderful or clever. Perhaps I should write my comments on paper and then type them here.

      I agree that the Pieta is the best piece of art.

      God bless.

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