michelangelo sculptures 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.
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. [ when defined as? ] Michelangelo’s interpretation of the Pietà is unprecedented in Italian sculpture.  It is an important work as it balances the Renaissance ideals of classical beauty with naturalism.
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.
9. Among the most difficult damage to repair was Mary’s eyelid, which took approximately 20 tries before the restorers got it right.
Michelangelo’s Pieta sculpture was created entirely in Marble, which was also what he used to create David and several other key sculptures. Pieta took the artist many months to complete during the years of 1498-99. It measures 174 cm Г— 195 cm (68.5 in Г— 76.8 in) and is currently stored at St. Peter’s Basilica, in Vatican City. The sculptor actually produced several different sculptures relating to the same topic, namely Florentine Pieta or The Deposition, the Rondanini Pieta and the Palestrina Pieta.
The balance of ages between Jesus and Mary is unusual in this sculpture and uses artistic license to achieve the precise finish that the artist desired.
Though the piece boasts a 520-year history, many highlights of its legacy have emerged only recently. In the middle of the 20th century, for example, it saw much fanfare when it was displayed at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Less than a decade later, it attracted attention when a man brandishing a hammer vandalized it. And, as recently as early 2019, the piece yet again made headlines when historians concluded that a small terra cotta statue discovered in Paris likely served as its study.
During the High Renaissance (1490-1527), artists in Italy began to reject the unrealistic forms found in figurative Medieval art in favor of a more naturalistic approach. At the forefront of this trend, Michelangelo crafted sculptures that focused on balance, detail, and a lifelike yet idealized approach to the human form.
This was the only work of Michelangelo to which he signed his name.
Michelangelo carved a number of works in Florence during his time with the Medici, but in the 1490s he left Florence and briefly went to Venice, Bologna, and then to Rome, where he lived from 1496-1501. In 1497, a cardinal named Jean de Billheres commissioned Michelangelo to create a work of sculpture to go into a side chapel at Old St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The resulting work – the Pieta – would be so successful that it helped launch Michelangelo’s career unlike any previous work he had done.