Only 23 years old when he produced the well-known Pieta, Michelangelo Buonarroti


Michelangelo Buonarroti, the renowned Italian artist and sculptor, achieved a remarkable feat at a young age when he created the famous sculpture known as the Pietà. At just 23 years old, Michelangelo demonstrated his exceptional talent and skill in this masterpiece that continues to captivate viewers to this day.

The creation of the Pietà was commissioned by a French cardinal, Jean de Billheres, who wanted a significant work of art for his funeral monument. The cardinal entrusted Michelangelo with the task, recognizing the young artist’s potential and artistic prowess. From 1498 to 1500, Michelangelo dedicated himself to the creation of this sculpture.

Using a single block of exquisite Carrara marble, Michelangelo meticulously sculpted the Pietà. The choice of marble from the Carrara quarries, known for its purity and beauty, added to the overall magnificence of the artwork. The sculpture depicts the Virgin Mary cradling the lifeless body of Jesus after his crucifixion, capturing a profound moment of grief and sorrow.

Michelangelo’s extraordinary craftsmanship is evident in the attention to detail and the exquisite expression of emotions in the Pietà. The delicate folds of the fabric, the tender pose of Mary, and the serene and youthful face of Christ exemplify the artist’s ability to infuse life and emotion into stone. The sculpture radiates a sense of serenity, beauty, and spiritual devotion that speaks to viewers across generations.

What makes the Pietà even more remarkable is that it is the only sculpture that Michelangelo ever signed. It is said that after completing the work, he overheard someone attributing it to another artist. Feeling offended by this misattribution, Michelangelo discreetly carved his name on the sash across Mary’s chest, declaring his authorship of the masterpiece.

Michelangelo’s Pietà stands as a testament to his genius, even at a young age. It showcases his mastery of sculpting, his ability to convey deep emotions through his art, and his profound understanding of the human form. The sculpture not only exemplifies Michelangelo’s technical skill but also captures the essence of spirituality and devotion, making it a treasured and celebrated artwork in the world of Renaissance art.

Today, the Pietà is housed in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, where it continues to inspire and move countless visitors from around the world. Michelangelo’s creation serves as a timeless reminder of the power of art to convey profound emotions and the enduring legacy of one of history’s greatest artistic geniuses.


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