Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Michelangelo's "Pieta"

The Pieta, the first work to gain Michelangelo exposure and praise, was sculpted when he was just 23 years old. The sculpture has two subjects: the Virgin Mary and her son Jesus Christ. Michelangelo used a pyramidal arrangement for this specific work. Also, he used Greek influences such as the calm expression of Mary's face looking down at her son in her arms. The proportions of the bodies seems to be nearly perfect. One can credit this to Michelangelo's work dissecting corpses. Early on, people had assumed that the Pieta was the work of an older, more experienced sculptor because of how intricate and accurate the anatomical structures were. This work's title, "Pieta", translates to the word "pity". This is what interests me most about the work because one could say that the expression on the Virgin's face was one of pity, however, when I look at this sculpture, I primarily pity Mary herself, not Christ. The title of a work, in my opinion, can be the most intricate part of a piece for this exact reason. It makes viewers question their initial thoughts and try to understand what the artist was trying to convey in comparison to what they initially took from the work.

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