Italy displays Michelangelo's three Pietà sculptures together for first time

Florence exhibition shows three Michelangelo masterpieces side by side.

The three Pietà sculptures by Renaissance master Michelangelo are on display together for the first time in an exhibition at the Museo Opera del Duomo in Florence, from 24 February until 3 October 2022.

The exhibition comprises the newly-restored original Bandini Pietà, from Florence's cathedral museum, along with the casts of the Pietà in St Peter's and the Rondanini Pietà from the Vatican Museums.

The show is titled Le Tre Pietà di Michelangelo: Non vi si pensa quanto sangue costa ("We do not think of how much blood it costs"), a reference to a verse in the Paradiso canticle of Dante's Divine Comedy.

The three marble works go on display as part of the Mediterranean, Frontier of Peace 2022 event which will see the participation of Pope Francis along with religious and civil institutions who are meeting on 27 February to discuss issues affecting the Mediterranean region.

Organisers say the display will allow viewers to study the evolution of Michelangelo's art, as well as "his spiritual maturation", over a period of more than 50 years.

Restorers working on the Bandini Pietà last year

The St Peter's Pietà dates to 1498–1499 and was completed when Michelangelo was aged just 24.The world-renowned work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion.

Michelangelo worked on the Bandini Pietà, also called The Deposition or The Lamentation over the Dead Christ, between 1547 and 1555 when he was in his 70s.

It depicts Jesus after his descent from the cross, supported by the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene and an aged Nicodemus, who bears a resemblance to Michelangelo himself.

The artist sculpted the Rondanini Pietà, his last work, from 1552 until the last days of his life, in 1564.

The Rondanini Pietà in Milan

The marble statue, which was left unfinished, is on display today at Milan's Castello Sforzesco. It depicts the mourning Virgin Mary struggling to hold the upright body of Jesus close to hers.

The exhibition is curated by Barbara Jatta, director of the Vatican Museums; Sergio Risaliti, director of the Museo del Novecento in Milan; Claudio Salsi, superintendent of Castello Sforzesco; and Timothy Verdon, director of the Opera del Duomo Museum.

After the Florence exhibition comes to an end, the three works will go on display during the autumn at Palazzo Reale in Milan.

Photo credit: Dario Nardella, mayor of Florence.

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Address Piazza del Duomo, 49, 59100 Prato PO, Italy

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Italy displays Michelangelo's three Pietà sculptures together for first time

Piazza del Duomo, 49, 59100 Prato PO, Italy