The Pieta by Michelangelo


At 22, a relatively unknown artist by the name of Michelangelo created a marble sculpture that continues to be seen by people around the world in the Vatican City of Rome. This piece named The Pieta has been sculpted from a single slab of marble from the Pits of Carrara. In Germany during the 13th-Century, the earliest representation of The Pieta was created into a polychromed wood sculpture. In Italy during the 14th-Century, The Pieta was mostly painted on side panels of

altarpieces devoted to the Passion. In 1498, Michelangelo was commissioned to do a life size representation of The Pieta measuring 1.74m x 1.95m. He sculpted four versions, but only finished one. It took him two years to finish this magnificent sculpture. His interpretation of the Pieta was far different than the ones created previously by other artists.

Various painters and sculptures have created the Pieta, which depicts the Virgin Mary holding the body of her son Jesus Christ after his death, in many different forms. In Michelangelo’s Pieta, the Virgin Mary is seen as a youthful, serene, and celestial young woman indifferent to the classic style of a broken-hearted, old woman. This is especially important when you consider that the sculpture is of a mother holding her dying son in her arms. To emphasize Mary’s empowerment over her son’s dead body, Michelangelo sculpted her very large and angelic like, with her clothing draping down like a waterfall. Her son, who just suffered through the crucifixion, seems to show no signs of the Passion as his face is serene and absent of any facial wounds. The only signs that the crucifixion actually took place are that of the wounds on his side, hands and feet.

Michelangelo's work always gives me a very pleasant feeling when I look at it. He shares his opinions through his work without any regret. Michelangelo's sculpture of The Pieta depicts a very informal view of Mary holding Jesus Christ after his death. The overall mood of the sculpture is very enlightening and angelic. If I had no idea who these two people are in the sculpture, I would look at this picture and see a loving mother holding her dying son in her arms. The warmth in Mary's eyes pulls you down to her son’s body, and then the draping around the bottom pulls you down to the floor. The cloth that is draped over Mary and over the bottom of the sculpture looks almost real. The softness and the detail of it make you believe that you are seeing the real thing.

In conclusion, I believe that The Pieta by Michelangelo is one of his most magnificent pieces of sculpture. All elements of the composition--the position of the left arm of Jesus, the angles formed by his knees, and the folds of Mary's drapery--work toward a gentle unity of design that contrasts sharply with earlier versions of the subject. I believe that Michelangelo's Pieta transformed the late medieval devotional image into a monumental statement on the meaning of Christian Sacrifice. This magnificent sculpture will be seen throughout the future as a very influential and inspirational piece of artwork.

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