The Pieta

Posted: February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

the pieta

This sculpture, titled The Pieta, was constructed by Michelangelo from 1498-1499 and is one of the most historic monuments in western civilization.  Michelangelo was regarded as one of the most talented and versatile artists of his generation for his architectural skills as well as painting.  This sculpture was assembled by Michelangelo for the French Cardinal Jean de Billheres, who was a representative in Rome at the time.  The Pieta, which is made of marble, was made as the Cardinal’s funeral monument, and is the only reported piece to have been signed by Michelangelo himself.  The Pieta was one of Michelangelo’s finest works, and is currently stationed in St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy.

The Pieta portrays the scene of when The Virgin Mother Mary first sees Jesus after his crucifixion.   Michelangelo depicts Mary to look like a young woman, which is odd, because Mary is often referred to as being old in many reenactments.  Mary’s youthful appearance symbolizes the purity of life, and that women such as The Virgin Mother that have good intentions, will never be treated hastily.  Examples of this would be that women with good intentions would never age or be in pain.  Also, another interpretation would be that The Virgin Mother Mary appearance and position could suggest that she is holding the baby Jesus in her arms.  The viewer of the sculpture is seeing an image of the future, while Mary is seeing the Baby Jesus after he was born.  Evidence to suggest this would be that Mary is staring down as though she is looking at a small child, and not an adult.  The Pieta illustrates the scene after Jesus’s crucifixion, and the time at which Christ was unified with God.


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