Open Arts Object: Michelangelo’s Pietà, 1498-99, St. Peter’s, Rome
In this film, Dr Kathleen Christian discusses Michelangelo’s Pietà, carved in 1498-99 and now in St. Peter’s, Rome. This famous statue is considered one of the artist's greatest works. Dr Christian gives a history of the commission by a French cardinal for his tomb in the Chapel of Santa Petronilla in the Old basilica of St Peters (a building destroyed in the early 16th century, soon after the Pietà was made). After discussing Michelangelo's trip to the quarries of Carrara to find a block of pure, white marble for the figure, she offers close formal analysis of the sculpture as it would have appeared to viewers in its original setting. The film ends with a discussion of the events of Pentecost Sunday, 1972, when a vandal attacked the sculpture with a hammer.
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