Milan Pieta (c. 1555-1564) by Michelangelo

Milan Pieta - Michelangelo - c.1550 - 1564

Artwork Information

TitleMilan Pieta
Datec.1550 - 1564
MediumUnfinished marble
Dimensions173 cm
Art MovementMannerism (Late Renaissance)
Current LocationSforza Castle, Milan, Italy
Location Created Rome, Italy
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About Milan Pieta

The artwork, known as the “Milan Pieta,” was created by Michelangelo between circa 1550 and 1564. This unfinished sculpture, rendered in marble, exhibits qualities of the Mannerism movement, also oftentimes referred to as the Late Renaissance. Standing at a height of 173 cm, this sculpture pertains to the genre of sculpture, characterized by the evocation of intense emotional states and complex compositions. Michelangelo crafted this piece in Rome, Italy, and it is currently located at the Sforza Castle in Milan, Italy.

The “Milan Pieta” depicts an emotionally charged and artistically complex scene involving figures with a religious connotation. The primary figure, which is partially carved and lacks full detail due to the unfinished state of the piece, appears to be supporting another figure, suggesting a narrative of care or mourning which is common in depictions of the Pieta. This subject traditionally represents the Virgin Mary holding the lifeless body of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion, although in the “Milan Pieta,” the arrangement and additional figures may differ from traditional interpretations.

The lack of completion provides a unique insight into Michelangelo’s process, rendering the work raw and somehow more immediate due to the visible chisel marks and the unrefined texture of the marble. Despite its unfinished state, or perhaps because of it, the artwork resonates with viewers, evoking the sentiment and complexity inherent in human grief and compassion. The forms appear to be emerging from the marble, each figure intertwined with the other, showcasing Michelangelo’s mastery in sculpting the human form and his ability to imbue stone with powerful emotion.

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