Life from Stone
In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it - Michelangelo
Why It Matters
- The Pieta is thought by many to be the most beautiful statue ever created.
- The Italian Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo carved it from Carrara marble.
- Carrara marble is white or blue-grey; it is the highest quality marble. It is quarried in Tuscany, Italy
- Carrara marble was used in some of Ancient Rome’s most extraordinary buildings and sculptures, such as the Pantheon.
- Besides his Pieta, Michelangelo used Carrara marble for his sculpture David.
With the link below, learn more about Michelangelo’s Pieta. Then answer the following questions.
- Smart History, Kahn Academy; Michelangelo, Pieta: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-history/art-history-1500-1600-end-of-the-renaissance-and-the-reformation/high-renaissance/v/michelangelo--piet---1498-1500
- Where is this Pieta? How is its current position different from what it was after Michelangelo carved it?
- How does Michelangelo turn marble into draped cloth?
- What is Mary’s facial expression? How does the feeling given off by the position of her left hand differ from that?
- What do the commentators think Michelangelo was trying to convey with his Pieta?