|Photo and words by F LoBuono|
Of course, La Pieta' is a work of great religious significance. That is indisputable. But is also a work of great artistic significance, as well. We all marvel at how one man could take a lump of raw marble, and using his own hands and rudimentary iron tools, create something of such exquisite beauty. The reason it is so extraordinary is because, I believe, Michelangelo created La Pieta' with more than just his hands. He created it with his very soul. He breathed life into the stone by capturing the most powerful bound on earth - that of a mother's love for her child. She speaks to us in a way that words cannot. In this way, to me, the sculpture goes beyond religious dogma and captures the true essence of the POWER OF LOVE. In a sense, it makes us feel what it is to be human. Her sense of loss touches as all. And that's what makes it a masterpiece - at it was when it was created more than five hundred years - as it is today - and is it will be 500 years from now.
Interestingly, it is Michelangelo's only signed work. It you look closely at the Virgin's sash you can see his name carved in fairly large letters into the marble. He was in his early 20's when he created her and feared that others might steal credit for his work. So, he made sure that everyone would know who did. This, to me, only adds to the magic and mystery of the work. It makes even more alive, more human. . .