Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Italian Renaissance (pt. 20)

Another fantastic piece by Michelangelo, sculpted before the David, is his Pietà.  A pietà is any representation of Mary mourning over the dead body of Christ.  Michelangelo's was made in 1499, out of marble, and remains in the Vatican today.
Something about art: Christ is, more often than not, shown either being crucified or already dead.  It was probably the most human phenomenon which He ever experienced—the ultimate display of His mortality—that He suffered, that He bled, and that He died.  Ignoring the Resurrection, when our Lord proved His deity by coming back to life and ascending to Heaven in glory, artists, for whatever reason, tend to find the crucifixion and burial of Christ the most interesting.  Perhaps it's due to the idea that showing Christ dead shows Christ as weak.
At any rate, Christ looks very weak here, and puny.  Mary, on the other hand, is massive, and not tiny or delicate.  The folds of Mary's garment indicate there is a huge, strong body underneath, and Mary's pose of lifting Christ's body is physically impossible.  Michelangelo did not here focus on the physical struggle of Mary to support the weight of the body, but rather on the religious meaning.


  1. I would like to buy a high quality print of Raphael's painting of the Virgin Mary with Jesus and Saint John the Baptist. What sizes do you have? What are the prices? Could you tell me how to order it?

    1. Unfortunately, I don't sell printouts or posters, but I'm sure you could order them elsewhere online. If you want to print your own poster, feel free to use the high quality images I've posted here on the blog; they are public domain. Good luck!