Michelangelo’s Pieta, Pity ( Pietà di Michelangelo) St Peter’s Basilica Vatican City Rome, Official Private Guided Tours to Visit the Vatican Museum
BUT THE MASTERPIECE of the basilica is unquestionably found in the first chapel on the right and is Michelangelo’s “Pietà.” The artist ( Michelangelo Buonarroti)was only 23 years old when, on August 26, 1498, he received from the French Benedictine cardinal Jean Villiers de la Groslaye the order for the chapel of St. Petronilla, which was the chapel of the kings of France. A Florentine banker, Jacopo Saldi, was the intermediary between the ambassador of France and the young sculptor to Scano. The artist, who received the sum of 450 gold ducats, undertook that your sta was the most beautiful marble work in Rome today “: he kept his word! According to tradition, as is well known, Petronilla was considered the daughter of St. Peter. Her relics had been donated (a distinguished privilege) by Pope Stephen III to Pepin the Short to express his gratitude to the king of the Franks. Since 1749, the Pietà has been in its present place, from which it irresistibly attracts all the glances of pilgrims upon entering the basilica. Paul VI had exceptionally authorized his transfer to the United States for a short period, in 1965. But this gesture of courtesy towards the generous American faithful worried the Romans.
Michelangelo’s Pieta, Pity ( Pietà di Michelangelo) St Peter’s Basilica Vatican City Rome
When the statue was savagely maimed with hammer blows by a deranged Austro-Hungarian, LazloToth, the whole world shook on May 21, 1972. The restoration work revealed on the left hand of the Virgin a sign that had been hidden for about half a century, the monogram of Michelangelo, an M of her drawn on her palm with the lines of her hand. Today a crystal plate defends it from other possible acts of vandalism.
In Christian iconography, the Pietà is the representation of the Madonna holding the dead Christ in her arms.
Michelangelo’s Pieta, Pity ( Pietà di Michelangelo) St. Peter’s Basilica Vatican City Rome
In the cycle of the Passion, it is the image that describes the moment following the Deposition from the Cross.
In addition to the one housed in S. Pietro, Michelangelo created two other Pietàs, which remained unfinished: the one located in the Duomo of Florence and the “Pietà Rondanini,” which is located in the Castello Sforzesco in Milan.