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La Pieta, Vatican City

4.9
#6 of 47 in Things to do in Vatican City
Monument · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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A masterpiece of Renaissance art and arguably one of the most moving sculptures ever created, Michelangelo’s La Pieta depicts the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus Christ. This statue is the most notable work inside Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Michelangelo was only 24 when he carved this complex work of art from a single slab of marble. He chose to show the Virgin as a youthful woman in repose, rather than the older, grieving Mary of most other works on the same subject. Unique among Michelangelo’s sculptures, this is signed as his own, allegedly to prevent viewers from confusing his work with that of a competing sculptor. Legend has it that Michelangelo broke into the church after finishing his work and hurriedly chiseled his name into the sculpture before anyone noticed he was there. Make La Pieta a centerpiece of your Vatican City vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Vatican City trip planner.
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  • One of the many wonders of ST. Peter's Basilica. Particularly moving and easily visible on walking through this memorable church 
    One of the many wonders of ST. Peter's Basilica. Particularly moving and easily visible on walking through this memorable church  more »
  • One of the greatest religious statues in the world, in a perfect setting. This sculpture by Michelangelo is a must for all art lovers. It’s a shame someone deny tune need to try and attack it, so now....  more
    One of the greatest religious statues in the world, in a perfect setting. This sculpture by Michelangelo is a must for all art lovers. It’s a shame someone deny tune need to try and attack it, so now....  more »
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  • As a young 22 year old sculptor from Florence, Michelangelo had his first big break in Rome with his carving of the Pieta. The statue depicts a youthful Virgin Mary holding her fallen son, Jesus, after the crucifixion. The work is innovative because it blends Classical themes with Naturalism. Our Lady is depicted as a beautiful youth to evoke Mary’s incorruptible purity. The work was even deemed so beautiful that some in Rome doubted That Michelangelo sculpted it, and they began attributing it to another artist. To remove all doubt for future generations, Michelangelo Etched his signature into the marble. Upon entering St. Peter’s Basilica, the Michelangelo’s Pieta Can be found immediately in the chapel on the right.
  • Beautiful masterpiece from 1499 by the young Michelangelo. It depicts one of the most miserable scenes in the Bible: Mary mourns Jesus being taken from the cross. In 1972, a confused Hungarian geologist, László Tóth, struck the statue with a hammer. For this reason, for years, it can only be viewed from a distance, entering the chapel of St. Peter’s Basilica on the right, where the pope used to change during the papal masses. On the other hand, eye-catching fans can study a copy of centimeters at Borghese Gallery without a hitch.

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