“La Pietà Rondanini” Michelangelo’s last sculpture


Visitors to the Rodin exhibition in Milan will get a discounted price of admittance to the Museum of Ancient Art of the Castello Sforza, which houses Michelangelo’s “Rondanini Pietà” – and vice versa. Michelangelo’s last sculpture – a composition he carefully studied – exudes an otherworldly mystical force. We re-post the Wikipedia article on the sculpture:

“The “Rondanini Pietà” is a marble sculpture that Michelangelo worked on from the 1550s until the last days of his life, in 1564. It is housed in the Museum of Ancient Art of Sforza Castle in Milan. His final sculpture, the “Rondanini Pietà” revisited the theme of the Virgin Mary mourning over the body of the dead Christ, which he had first explored in his “Pietà” of 1499. Like his late series of drawings of the “Crucifixion” and the sculpture of the “Deposition of Christ” intended for his own tomb, it was produced at a time when Michelangelo’s sense of his own mortality (and with it his spirituality) was growing.

The “Rondanini Pietà” was begun before the Deposition, although in his dying days Michelangelo hacked at the marble block until only the dismembered right arm of Christ survived from the sculpture as originally conceived. The spectral, waif-like Virgin and Christ are a departure from the idealized figures that exemplified the sculptor’s earlier style, and have been said to bear more of a resemblance to the attenuated figures of Gothic sculpture than those of the Renaissance.

When viewing the sculpture from certain rear angles, it looks as if Jesus is holding Mary up with his back, instead of Mary cradling Jesus. It is said that Michelangelo carefully crafted it this way to represent how Jesus’s spirit might actually have been comforting Mary in her loss.”

Visit the Castello Sforzesco website, linked here, for more information.

Museum of Ancient Art
Castello Sforzesco
Piazza Castello
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. (admission until 5 p.m.)
ticket office: tel. (+39) 02/88463703
Closed on Mondays (holidays included)
Closed on: December 25, January 1, May 1, Easter Monday

Image and article from Wikipedia, linked here.

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