when was the pieta created

When was the pieta created
When Michelangelo set out to create his Pietà, he wanted to create a work he described as “the heart’s image”. [6]
The Pietà (Italian: [pjeˈta] ; English: “The Pity” ; 1498–1499) is a work of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, housed in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. It is the first of a number of works of the same theme by the artist. The statue was commissioned for the French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères, 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. [1] It is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.

When was the pieta created
This exquisite work of art by Michelangelo features the body of Jesus placed on the lap of the Virgin Mary after the savior’s crucifixion. Its theme was based on Northern origin that was widely applied in France, yet not so popular in Italy. The artist’s interpretation of the sculpture is unique and rather extraordinary to the precedents. Moreover, this masterpiece is a magnificent work because it balances the ideal of the Renaissance Era with classical beauty evident in naturalism.
During the following years, the Pietà by Michelangelo sustained severe damages. In fact, the four of Mary’s fingers on her left hand were broken when the statue was relocated to the basilica. However, Giuseppe Lirioni restored this famous artwork. Some scholars, on the other hand, commented that the restorer seemed to have made the gesture quite rhetorical.

When was the pieta created
Michelangelo created the Pietà between 1498 and 1500. This Pietà is widely seen as the greatest work of sculpture ever created and marks a watershed event in the Italian High Renaissance. The lamentation of Christ was a theme popular in Northern European art since the 14th century, but Michelangelo’s interpretation of Mary holding a dead Christ in her arms is remarkable in its faithfulness to the Renaissance Humanist ideals of physical perfection and beauty.
While Mary’s face appears peaceful in the Pietà , it is her left hand, turned upward in helpless resignation, that betrays the true depth of emotion, indeed the intensity of her grief. Note the regal composition of her drapery as it lies in rhythmic and lavish folds beneath the body of the Savior.

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.
One must take these words of Vasari about the “divine beauty” of the work in the most literal sense, in order to understand the meaning of this composition. Michelangelo convinces both himself and us of the divine quality and the significance of these figures by means of earthly beauty, perfect by human standards and therefore divine. We are here face to face not only with pain as a condition of redemption, but rather with absolute beauty as one of its consequences.

In the contract for the commission of the statue, Jacopo Galli specifically assured the Cardinal that this would have been “the most beautiful work of marble in Rome and that no other artist today could do it better”.
It is one of the most important pieces the Florentine artist ever produced, possibly only matched in its significance by the statue of David, the Creation of Adam (the most famous fresco in the Sistine Chapel), by the Tondo Doni, and another Pietà, the Rondanini Pietà, which, unfinished, represents Michelangelo’s spiritual and creative testament.

References:

http://totallyhistory.com/pieta/
http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/arts/artwork/michelangelo-sculptures1.htm
http://www.michelangelo.org/pieta.jsp
http://www.voxmundi.eu/vatican-pieta-by-michelangelo-buonarroti/
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rondanini_Piet%C3%A0

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