THE RONDANINI PIETA’: LAST WORK BY MICHELANGELO
In the Courtyard of Arms of the Sforza Castle there’s Michelangelo’s last work.
It’s the Rondanini Pietà, the unfinished sculpture on which the artist worked until the last days of his life.
In all probability, Michelangelo began working on the Rondanini Pietà in 1552, but he interrupted his work several times, and he ended up beginning taking his last Pietà out the marble the last year of his life, in 1564.
There are three drawings, housed in Oxford, illustrating the basic ideas of the artist, which since the beginning seemed to be daring, because both the Virgin Mary and Christ assume an unusual standing position, with the body of dead Christ falling under his weight, whereas the Virgin tries to lift him up.
The two figures lean against a Roman funerary urn dating back to the 1st century A.C., and you can see the representation of the spouses Marco Antonio and Giulia Filomena Asclepiade.
Throughout the centuries the sculpture changed hands several times; one of the owners was the Rondanini family, after whom it was named, then it belonged to the Sanseverino Vimercati family, and in 1952 it was purchased by the Municipality of Milan.
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The Rondanini Pietà Museum
Piazza Castello – 20121 Milan