Pietà of Michelangelo in St. Peter’s Basilica | Vatican City. Rome Private Official Guided Tours, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo
Vatican City Pietà by Michelangelo (1497-1499)
In sculpting the figure of Christ, Michelangelo added an extra incisor tooth, because there is a motivation linked to religious symbolism in fact the added tooth, also called the tooth of sin, symbolizes all the sins of man that Jesus made his own.
Michelangelo’s Pietà is one of the best-known statues in the world and was sculpted by the master at just over 20 years old. A masterpiece sculpted during the papacy of Alexander VI.
The Pietà by Michelangelo is Carrara marble, 174 cm high and 195 cm wide with a thickness of 69 cm. it is guarded in the Vatican City inside St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Madonna holds the lifeless body of Christ in her arms.
Pietà of Michelangelo | Maria is sitting on a rock that symbolizes Mount Calvary. The Virgin Mary has the face of a young girl and wears a garment with many folds. A real rarity is a fact that on the band that crosses the bust of the Madonna there is the only sign that Michelangelo made on a work of art MICHEL.A [N] GELVS BONAROTVS FLORENT [INVS] FACIEBAT (“Lo made the Florentine Michelangelo Buonarroti “).
Pietà of Michelangelo | A large cloak dresses the shoulders and back of the Madonna who has her head covered with a light veil. The right hand that supports Christ from under the chest to the height of the right shoulder and a flap a flap of the cloak partially covers him. The left hand, below the knee of Jesus, is open with the palm facing up towards the sky. Christ appears emaciated and lifeless and the weight of his feeble body is totally abandoned on the legs of the Mother. Christ’s back is partially resting on the right leg of the Madonna while her pelvis rests on her from the left leg. His head was thrown back, abandoned and his lifeless face turned upwards. The right arm falls down and the left one is stretched over the mother’s belly. Christ is naked and covered only by a small cloth knotted on the pelvis. Michelangelo sculpted the Pietà, exhibited in Rome in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, at the age of only twenty-four. The marble group was commissioned by Cardinal Jean de Bilhères ambassador of Charles VIII to the Vatican. Initially, the marble group was to be placed in the chapel of Santa Petronilla as funeral furniture for the tomb of the cardinal himself.
Maria’s drapery is admirably and delicately complex and rich in folds that give a chiaroscuro effect. The details of the drapery are a real sculptural virtuosity in fact the folds become thinner as they rise towards the bust of the Virgin Mary. Going down towards the body of Christ, the folds of the drapery become wider and wider until they disappear, creating a unique optical and perspective effect. The incarnate of the Virgin and the body of Christ are finely polished to represent purity. Michelangelo’s greatness was in humanizing the bodies by exalting the feelings of the Virgin and the absence of life in the body of Christ. The marble group of classic Renaissance form, i.e. pyramidal, forces the observer to look upwards. The universal naturalism introduced by Michelangelo can be grasped in every little detail, especially in the drapery of the robes and in the vibrant and softly modeled body of Christ. As in the concept of a classical sculpture of ancient Greece, the features are idealized making this statuary group unique in its kind. The delicacy of the regular and strongly expressive features of the face of the Virgin bent over the body of Jesus, are rich in Patos and human piety.
Michelangelo speaking of this group with his disciple Condivi, told him that he had tried to impress on Madonna’s face, besides a dignified sorrow, the certainty of the resurrection of her Son. The column on the right of the chapel, surrounded by a railing is said to be a relic from the temple of Salomon in Jerusalem, but in reality, it is one of the twelve columns which decorated the “Pergula” of the ancient Basilica. Rome official guided tours of the Coliseum, Vatican City.
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