michelangelo pieta creation
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.
The structure is pyramidal, and the vertex coincides with Mary’s head. The statue widens progressively down the drapery of Mary’s dress, to the base, the rock of Golgotha. The figures are quite out of proportion, owing to the difficulty of depicting a fully-grown man cradled full-length in a woman’s lap. Much of Mary’s body is concealed by her monumental drapery, and the relationship of the figures appears quite natural. Michelangelo’s interpretation of the Pietà was far different from those previously created by other artists, as he sculpted a young and beautiful Mary rather than an older woman around 50 years of age. 
In 1497, a young Michelangelo was commissioned by French Cardinal Jean de Bilheres Lagraulas to create вЂњthe most beautiful work of marble in Rome, one that no living artist could betterвЂќ, for the cardinalвЂ™s future tomb in Old St. PeterвЂ™s Basilica. Few will argue that Michelangelo not only rose to the CardinalвЂ™s challenge with the Pieta but also managed to surpass it.
Pieta Michelangelo sculpture is a common religious scene and can be found in the careers of many other artists around this time.
In 1964, the Vatican loaned the Pietà to the United States, where it was displayed as part of the 1964 New York World’s Fair. To ensure the safety of this statue, organizers erected a barrier of seven massive sheets of plexiglass that collectively weighed more than 4900 pounds. Then, to make sure crowds would safely pass by the sculpture, conveyor belt-style mobile walkways were installed.
Dalí and Gala were known for throwing elaborate, bizarre dinner parties. At one, a fundraiser in Monterey, California in 1941, guests like Bob Hope and Alfred Hitchcock were asked to dress up as their own dreams. (Gala wore a unicorn’s head.) Dalí borrowed monkeys from the San Francisco zoo for the evening, and guests were served fish in satin shoes, followed by live frogs. The event was so lavish that, rather than raising money for refugee artists, as it was designed to, it actually lost money.
The sculpture is pyramidal. Despite the commission to build a life-sized sculpture, upon careful observation you can see that Christ is smaller than the Virgin. This was done to allow Mary to easily hold the body of her son, but it was also interpreted as recalling Jesus’ infancy. This difference in size is camouflaged by the rich drapery of Mary’s garments.
MICHELANGELO IN ROME
5. Its trip to the World’s Fair was the first time the statue had left Rome since its inception. The precious cargo in its triple packing crate weighed in at just under six tons.
6. The packaging created for the sculpture’s Atlantic crossing was designed to withstand a shipwreck. If the ship went down, the crate would float. If the statue partially sunk, a radio transmitter inside the crate would serve as a location device.