(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)

Pietà (detail)

c. 1550
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence

The detail shows the head of Christ.

In the Florentine Pietà, Michelangelo returned to a theme which he had already treated (in drawings) for Vittoria Colonna, with whom he had been associated in a Christian and mystical friendship. The alternation of polished surfaces with a rough texture that softens the harsh light allowed the artist to express the great spirituality of the closely-bound figures. Resting against the scarcely outlined face of his mother, Christ's head is radiant with an inner light. All trace of human suffering has disappeared, replaced by heavenly bliss.