elizabeth

13 Apr 2012 134 views
 
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photoblog image Michelangelo's Pieta

Michelangelo's Pieta

 

Michelangelo was almost eighty years old when he began this sculpture, his third Pieta. He gave his own features to Nicodemus, one of the two men who removed Christ from the cross.  Nicodemus may have been a sculptor himself, thus giving a certain "professional" identification for Michelangelo. However, it's said he assumed this role because of the words Nicodemus spoke to Christ on the subject of Spiritual Rebirth:  "How can a man be born when he is old?" (John 3:4).


Vasari said that Michelangelo angrily smashed the elbow of the Madonna because of a flaw in the marble (another source says it was because of the impatient comment someone made... When will you finish?).  He left it unfinished, to be completed by Tiberio Calcagnio.


Michelangelo underwent a deep religious conversion in the last decades of his life.  In this sculpture, the body of Christ - still powerful and youthful even in death - has been "Born" from the aged body of Michelangelo, as if the great artist was already undergoing an inner rebirth whose sure sign of human compassion is written in his features.

                                                                        ~From the Museum Information

Museo di Santa Maria del Fiore

Florence, Italy

November 10, 2012


 

Michelangelo's Pieta

 

Michelangelo was almost eighty years old when he began this sculpture, his third Pieta. He gave his own features to Nicodemus, one of the two men who removed Christ from the cross.  Nicodemus may have been a sculptor himself, thus giving a certain "professional" identification for Michelangelo. However, it's said he assumed this role because of the words Nicodemus spoke to Christ on the subject of Spiritual Rebirth:  "How can a man be born when he is old?" (John 3:4).


Vasari said that Michelangelo angrily smashed the elbow of the Madonna because of a flaw in the marble (another source says it was because of the impatient comment someone made... When will you finish?).  He left it unfinished, to be completed by Tiberio Calcagnio.


Michelangelo underwent a deep religious conversion in the last decades of his life.  In this sculpture, the body of Christ - still powerful and youthful even in death - has been "Born" from the aged body of Michelangelo, as if the great artist was already undergoing an inner rebirth whose sure sign of human compassion is written in his features.

                                                                        ~From the Museum Information

Museo di Santa Maria del Fiore

Florence, Italy

November 10, 2012


 

comments (25)

I have never seen this Pieta Elizabeth... it is magnificent... thanks for its history... i like your presentation....petersmile
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: I'd not seen this one before either- seems we all are familiar with his first at the Basilica di St Pietro in Roma. I'm glad you like this - it was difficult to choose the best angle and lighting.
A touching pair of pix.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thank you Jacquelyn- it is a marvelous statue!
  • Ginnie
  • Netherlands
  • 13 Apr 2012, 06:29
It's a wonderful Pieta, Elizabeth, that we don't often see. I have always had a special place for Nicodemus in my heart, so this sculpture is meaningful to me! Michelangelo should be proud of it.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: I'm so glad you like this Ginnie! It is unusual- Mother Mary is half finished, with Mary Magdelene finished with more detail than Michelangelo may have intended... But the story makes it so amazing, especially considering the artists age when it was begun.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 13 Apr 2012, 06:35
Powerful stuff Elizabeth especially if this signifies something going on inside the artist
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: I agree with you - the story behind it makes it even more special.
There is so much to see and think about in these two views. Michelangelo captured the deepest emotions of pain, sorrow, deep grief and tender love. Thanks for sharing this.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: You're welcome! I'm so glad you see so much in it - thanks for looking!
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 13 Apr 2012, 07:19
Michelangelo was a very gifted man. This is amazing. Thank you for the education with these wonderful pictures.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: You're welcome Astrid! I have a whole new respect for him after our Italy trip! Thanks so much for looking!
  • blackdog
  • United Kingdom
  • 13 Apr 2012, 08:20
Michelangelo is renowned for his tantrums - usually associated with getting his own way! A great piece by a great artist.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: He was quite tempermental as I understand... but that passion is probably what made him such an incredible artist!
A powerful feel to these images Elizabeth, enhanced by the divine light!
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thank you Richard- I'm so glad you think so!
A fine sculptural montage Elizabeth!
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thanks Fred!
  • John Prior
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 13 Apr 2012, 10:04
The skill and scale of work by the renaissance artists has never really been surpassed.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Sad but so true!
Have you read Vasari Elizabeth?
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: I've not Chad... You have? Is it worth a download on my Kindle?!
  • Pedroeric
  • United Kingdom
  • 13 Apr 2012, 10:10
We spend a lot of time looking at sculptures in churches ourselves Elizabeth superb capture of it good light and lots of detail.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: I find them all so inspirational. Thank you so much Pedroeric!
Good pic's, of remarkable pieces of art, Ellie.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thank you kind sir!
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 13 Apr 2012, 10:24
what a great masterwork - and your close-up depictures very well the facial expressions, and we can feel the compassion of the group symathizing with them. I like reading your writing.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thank you so much Philine. I really love this.
  • vintage
  • Australia
  • 13 Apr 2012, 10:26
Stunning work by you both
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thank you so much! Appreciated!
A wonderful sculpture and an interesting history Elizabeth
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: I'm glad you think so Bill- I really love this one!
Nice presentation, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thanks so much Tom!
Great story & post Elizabeth. I'have worked with stone sculptors and can perfectly see the points in your narrative
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thank you Juan Carlos - I so appreciate your comments!
It is astonishing and a testament to his passion for his art that he would have the strength and stamina to create masterpieces at that advanced age, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Isn't that incredible?!
  • Alan
  • United Kingdom
  • 13 Apr 2012, 13:03
Looks like other SCers are more familiar with this than me sad Is the sheen on parts of it caused by touching hands from visitors.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: i don't know if it was allowed to be touched at one time- but it is now behind plexiglass. I believe the sheen on parts of it are because Calcagnio chose to polish parts of it, leaving some parts as Michelangelo had left them upon his death.
amazing piece.....
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: I think so too Rob!
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 13 Apr 2012, 14:46
The textures look so different here that it doesn't look like one piece of marble
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: That's true Lisl - and I believe it's because Calcagnio chose to leave some parts as Michelangelo had left them upon his death.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 13 Apr 2012, 21:08
Most interesting information, almost like folklore when it comes to the elbow.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Yes, who knows!
Quite moving. I have never seen this...
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: I really loved it because of the expression on Nicodemus, and the story behind it.
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 24 Apr 2012, 08:37
It is a great and beautiful work, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: I'm glad you share my view!

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