January 31, 2020

Michelangelo's Last Pieta in Santa Maria Fiore, Florence

This was Michelangelo’s last work of art and you can find it at Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. At 80 years old Michelangelo was living in Rome and was employed as head architect to the Pope. During the day he was working on St Peter’s Basilica dome. After work, he would come home, attach a candle to his head with a wire, & carve into the wee hours. 

Michelangelo intended this piece for his own tomb. The man holding Christ respresents Nicodemus from the Bible, but the face is that of Michelangelo. This brought tears to my eyes. Knowing that in his last work, Michelangelo wanted to support Christ in his great work. I felt as though I could see into Michelangelo's soul and I was awed by what I saw.

At some post Michelangelo realizes that working by candlelight while exhausted and elderly has caused him to error. He has misjudged the marble and hasn't allowed for Christ's other leg. In a rage, he tries to destroy the statue. Fortunately, his assistant saves it from complete destruction and we have this unfinished piece as the result. What a touching piece this was to view. 

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