greek sculptures that are like fhe pieta
Subsequent to its carving the Pietà sustained much damage. Four fingers on Mary’s left hand, broken during a move, were restored in 1736 by Giuseppe Lirioni, and scholars are divided as to whether the restorer took liberties to make the gesture more “rhetorical”. The most substantial damage occurred on 21 May 1972, (Pentecost Sunday) when a mentally disturbed geologist, the Hungarian-born Australian Laszlo Toth, walked into the chapel and attacked the sculpture with a geologist’s hammer while shouting “I am Jesus Christ; I have risen from the dead!”  With fifteen blows he removed Mary’s arm at the elbow, knocked off a chunk of her nose, and chipped one of her eyelids. Bob Cassilly, an American sculptor and artist from St. Louis, Missouri, was one of the first people to remove Toth from the Pietà. “I leaped up and grabbed the guy by the beard. We both fell into the crowd of screaming Italians. It was something of a scene.”  Onlookers took many of the pieces of marble that flew off. Later, some pieces were returned, but many were not, including Mary’s nose, which had to be reconstructed from a block cut out of her back.
Do you not know that chaste women stay fresh much more than those who are not chaste? How much more in the case of the Virgin, who had never experienced the least lascivious desire that might change her body? 
This was a special work of art even in the Renaissance because at the time, multi-figured sculptures were rare. These two figures are carved so as to appear in a unified composition which forms the shape of a pyramid, something that other Renaissance artists (e.g. Leonardo) also favored.
The Pieta became famous right after it was carved. Other artists started looking at it because of its greatness, and Michelangelo’s fame spread. Since the artist lived another six decades after carving the Pieta, he witnessed the reception of the work by generations of artists and patrons through much of the sixteenth century.
As an artist he was unmatched, the creator of works of sublime beauty that express the full breadth of the human condition. He left immortal works in sculpture, painting, architecture and poetry. Through this vast and multifaceted body of artistic achievement, Michelangelo made an indelible imprint on the Western imagination. No other artist has ever attained such a high level of mastery in all of these four areas of artistic endeavor.
Every beauty which is seen here below by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come…
My eyes longing for beautiful things together with my soul longing for salvation have no other power to ascend to heaven than the contemplation of beautiful things.
Michelangelo’s Vatican Pietà is 174cm tall, 195cm wide and only 69cm deep. Its shallow depth might have been dictated by the fact that the statue was always intended to be placed in a niche.
ANALYSIS OF THE VATICAN PIETÀ: SIZE, SHAPE AND SOURCES OF INSPIRATION
Marble – Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Florence
In usual Michelangelo fashion, the artist depicted the traditional scene with elements of controversy, particularly by rendering its subjects nude with extremely muscular anatomies. His rendition of a beardless Christ was unusual for the time, as was the use of figures from pagan mythology. Vasari reports that the Pope’s Master of Ceremonies, Biagio da Cesena, called it a disgrace “that in so sacred a place there should have been depicted all those nude figures, exposing themselves so shamefully.” Michelangelo, angry at the remark, is said to have painted Cesena’s face onto Minos, judge of the underworld, with donkey’s ears. Cesena complained to the Pope at being so ridiculed, but the Pope is said to have jokingly remarked that his jurisdiction did not extend to Hell.