Although seeing Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel was a huge check off of my "bucket list", I found his Pieta in St. Peter's Basilica to be so much more compelling.  I found it interesting how this marble form is so heavy and stable, yet at the same time so delicate and ethereal.  The juxtaposition of the visual weight of Mary's body with the lightness and youth of her face and the frailty of Christ's figure made it's emotional impact even greater.  

Often, religious art seems so "over the top", exaggerated, and idealized.  This piece feels very human.  It makes my heart break.  

The downwardly sloping folds of fabric add to the sense of visual weight and movement.  The same lines are echoed in Christ's arm, torso, and Mary's chin and facial features.  Everything seems to be falling downwards, as tears would fall down one's cheeks.  



Prof. Snipes
04/28/2013 12:23pm

Mary, This is a great observation! I wonder how much of the emotional impact has to do with subject matter? If these same elements were used, but in non-representational form, would the tone still be the same?

On another note, did you know that Michelangelo preferred sculpting to painting. He only painted because the pope commissioned him to. Her really did not like to do it. I wonder if this has anything to do with the sincerity with which he portrayed this scene?


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    Mamma Mia Mary

    My name is Mamma Mia Mary.  I am originally from a small town in South Carolina.  Now, I am an art student at Lander University.

    This is my first travel abroad experience.  On this blog, I'll be charting my journey from Rome, to Florence and Venice and the artwork I'll make in response.  

    Most of my artwork now is autobiographical.   I  especially enjoy working with self portraits. 

    While I am nervous because I have never been in an airplane before, I am also excited that I will see so many new things! 


    May 2013
    March 2013