Sculpture Vatican Pieta by Michelangelo Buonarroti

Michelangelo Buonarroti. Sculpture Vatican Pieta, 1499
Michelangelo Buonarroti. Sculpture Vatican Pieta, 1499

The sculpture “Vatican Pieta” by Michelangelo Buonarroti is a landmark work in Catholicism

Vatican Pieta is a sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti Simoni, created in 1499 by order of the French cardinal Jean Biler de Lagrola. The author depicted the body of Christ lying on the lap of the Madonna. The Mother of God seems to be a very young girl. This approach was typical of the religious subjects of the Renaissance. The author himself explained his decision by the purity and purity of the Virgin Mary, thanks to which her face did not change from the influence of passions and vices.

Madonna looks with sorrow at the prostrate body of her murdered son. The sculptor paid special attention to the folds of Mary’s robe, giving the hard marble lightness and graceful plasticity. This reception especially emphasized the lifelessness of Christ. Head thrown back, hands dangling limply. Everything is done extremely authentically and naturalistically. And yet Michelangelo sought in his work to sing not death, but the unity of God and man.

Name: “Vatican Pieta” (Italian Pietà).
Author: Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564).
Year of creation: 1499
Size: 174 x 195 cm.
Style: Renaissance.
Genre: Religious.
Material: Marble.
Location: St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican.

Michelangelo Buonarroti – one of the brightest representatives of the Renaissance

He became famous not only as a talented sculptor, but also as an artist and architect. He created amazing frescoes for the Sistine Chapel and a design for the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. At the dawn of his work, Michelangelo moved to Rome, where he received an order to make a sculpture for a clergyman. At that time, it became popular in Christian art to create works that honor the sorrow of the Virgin Mary.

The customer planned to use the “Vatican Pieta” as his own tombstone. However, this intention was not destined to be fulfilled. First, the work was installed in the chapel of St. Petronilla in the Vatican, and then moved to St. Peter’s Basilica. Michelangelo often came to the chapel to admire his creation. And one day I heard how other viewers attribute authorship to a Lombard artist.

That same night, Buonarroti carved his name on the clothes of the Virgin. So the “Vatican Pieta” became the only sculpture of the famous Italian, bearing his signature. In 1972, a religious fanatic severely damaged the masterpiece with a rock hammer. After long discussions, where there were opinions that the work should not be restored in order to leave evidence of the vices of the current era, the work was nevertheless restored.

About two decades ago, a terracotta figurine was found, which at first was considered a crude fake of the Vatican Pieta. However, the owner conducted a thorough investigation and found evidence that the reduced copy was made by Michelangelo himself. Currently, the terracotta sketch is kept in a private collection.

Despite the religious theme, the sculpture evokes a deep emotional response from art lovers, regardless of their religion.