Michelangelo, Pieta, 1499


Pieta. 1499. Photograph. Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican. ABC CLIO: World History. Web. 15 Jan. 2010. <http://www.worldhistory.abc-clio.com/Search/Display.aspx?categoryid=4&entryid=345349&searchtext=pieta&type=simple&option=all>.

"Michelangelo Buonarroti." Michelangelo Buonarroti. Web. 15. Jan. 2010. <http://www.hutfor.com/absoluteig/Michelangelo.htm>

This source was valuable because it had lots of basic information about the artwork we could use to start researching. This website had lots of informing facts about the Pieta, such as what the statue looks like and how it was created and who wanted it to be created.

Research Notes:
- Sculpted before he turned 30
- Michelangelo was told to create this by a French cardinal
- It is currently located in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City
- The statue is of Mary holding her grown, dead, son - Jesus.

"Michelangelo's Pieta." Moodbook. MoodBook Development. Web. 15 Jan. 2010. <http://moodbook.com/history/renaissance/michelangelo-pieta.html>.

I think this is a valuable source of information because it talked about the general information and background behind the sculpture. It also talked about the Renaissance ideals that are represented in the sculpture and how it differed from the sculptures of the Middle Ages.

Research Notes

- Commissioned by French Cardinal Jean de Billheres
- In St. Peter's basilica
- Shows Jesus in Mary's arms after crucifixion
- Had many Renaissance ideals- naturalism
- One of most highly finished works by Michelangelo
- Took less than two years to make
- Also different because he sculptured Mary as youthful
- Body of Christ perfect in body shape

Pieta (Michelangelo). Wikipedia, 27 Dec 09. Web. 15 Jan. 10. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piet%C3%A0_%28Michelangelo%29>

This source was extremly valuable because it had many details and had a wide variety of information, including the history of the Pieta, what it looks like, and other discriptions. This source listed lots of details and information, and was very informative.

Research Notes:
- Jesus in his mother's arms after the crucifixion
- Michelangelo's Pieta was different than any other because he created Mary to look young and very well, where as other artists that had sculpted Pieta's had Mary looking rather old.
- only work Michelangelo every signed, and it took him a little under two years to finish it.
- There is only seven authorized replicas in the world, and one of them is located in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis in the Central West End.
- commissioned by French cardinal Jean de Billheres for his funeral monument

In 1499, the French cardinal Jean de Billheres asked Michelangelo to create his idea of the Pieta, which ended up being one of Michelangelo's most recognized and remarkable pieces of artwork. The Pieta was originally placed in Jean de Billheres funeral monument, however it moved to the St. Peter's Basilica in the mid-1700's. This statue is made completely of marble, and is positioned so that Jesus is laying vertically across the lap of Mary - who is covered in drapes. Young Mary is holding her dead son, Jesus, after his crucifixion. The crucifixion is symbolized by a few wounds on the side of Jesus' body. Jesus' body represents the dead, as he is laying in Mary's arms and represents the human body in perfect form.

Discussion of Humanist Themes
The Pieta sculpture by Michelangelo was constructed during the Renaissance, which was a time in Europe where people started returning to the realistic sculptures of the Greco-Roman World, from the very flat, unrealistic images of the Middle Ages. This sculpture portrays many humanist themes, such as the study of human anatomy and the glory of the human body, as well as the spiritual significance that are in many masterpieces that were well supported and common during the Renaissance. The precision and amazing detail represented in the Pieta was made possible because in the time of the Renaissance, artists were studying anatomy of the human body so they could gain knowledge of the body and how they could show the body in many different positions. The Pieta is a sculpture in which the bodies are not in traditional positions, meaning that Michelangelo must have studied anatomy extensively in order to show such great detail in his sculpture. In contrast to the Middle Ages, Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo believed that the human body was a reflection of God himself, and that it should be appreciated in every aspect, instead of a temporary state of being for one's soul. Also, many Middle Age artists thought that in order for a work of art to be spiritual, it can't look realistic. However, Michelangelo captured the spiritual sorrow of Mary holding her crucified son in his statue, while still maintaining the bodies realness.