Michelangelo’s Pietà

The Pietà (1498–1499) is a work of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti. It is housed in St. Peter’s Basilica. The statue was commissioned by a French Cardinal, who was a representative in Rome.

The sculpture, in Carrara marble, was made for the cardinal’s funeral monument, but was moved to its current location, the first chapel on the right as one enters the basilica, in the 18th century.

It is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.

This famous work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. The theme is of Northern origin, popular by that time in France but not yet in Italy. Michelangelo’s interpretation of the Pietà is unprecedented in Italian sculpture. 

Michelangelo’s Pietà

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