Florence dedicates an exhibition to Michelangelo's three Pietae

The Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence brings together on display the original Bandini Pietà and casts of the Vatican Pietà and Rondanini Pietà from the Vatican Museums, masterpieces by Michelangelo Buonarroti.

The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence will host, on the occasion of the meeting Mediterranean Frontier of Peace 2022, which will see the bishops and mayors of the Mediterranean meet in the Tuscan capital and at which Pope Francis will also speak, the exhibition The Three Pietas of Michelangelo. You Don’t Think How Much Blood Costs You, which can be visited from Feb. 24 to Aug. 1, 2022.

The exhibition aims to compare, in the Michelangelo Tribune Hall, the recently restored original of the Bandini Pietà and casts of the Vatican Pietà and the Rondanini Pietà from the Vatican Museums.

Curated by museum directors Barbara Jatta, Sergio Risaliti, Claudio Salsi, and Timothy Verdon, the exhibition involves the Vatican Museums, the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, the Museo Novecento in Florence, the Castello Sforzesco in Milan, the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, the City of Florence, the City of Milan, and the Fabbrica di San Pietro.

Placed side by side, the three Pietà will give the public an opportunity to understand the evolution of Michelangelo’s art as well as his spiritual maturation, from his early youth to his last season, when by now old he created the Pietà now in Florence and then the Pietà Rondanini preserved in Milan.

The exhibition encompasses more than fifty years of his production, from the ambition of the young man who carved his own name on the breast of the Madonna in the Vatican version to the elderly artist’s personal identification with himself in the guise of Nicodemus in the one in the Museo dell’Opera. Close to his death, Michelangelo meditated deeply on the Passion of Christ, as he made clear in a drawing of the Pieta given to the marquise of Pescara Vittoria Colonna, in which he wrote the Dantean phrase “Non vi si pensa quanto sangue costa” (Paradiso XXIX, 91). This spiritual meditation resulted in the Rondanini Pietà.

Next fall then, the three plaster casts of the original Pietàs will be exhibited in Milan in the Sala delle Cariatidi of the Royal Palace in a specially designed new exhibit.

Image: Michelangelo Buonarroti, Vatican Pieta (1498-1499) © Photo Mallio Falcioni, Fabbrica di San Pietro in Vaticano

Florence dedicates an exhibition to Michelangelo's three Pietae
Florence dedicates an exhibition to Michelangelo's three Pietae

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