The Last Masterpiece of Michelangelo - The Rondanini Pietà
Location: Castello Sforzesco
Adresse: Piazza Castello
“The most moving sculpture ever created by an artist.” - that’s how Henry Moore defined the Rondanini Pietà, Michelangelo’s most fragile and imperfect work and, perhaps for this, the most poetic. The marble piece that, today, we admire at the Castello Sforzesco kept the renaissance genius company for almost fifteen years. As Giorgio Vasari explains, Michelangelo began working on it right after the Bandini Pietà. Then he abandoned it in his Roman workshop behind Piazza Venezia, only to begin working on it again around the age of eighty. The lower section, with the legs of Christ, was virtually completed. But the old Master was in a revolutionary mood - he destroyed the upper part and fashioned the bust of Christ out of the very body of the Virgin Mary, as if to show his rebirth. Michelangelo died suddenly while he was still working on the piece, transforming this work into a sort of spiritual testament. Courageously innovative in its “verticality”, the Rondanini Pietà is comprised of alternating highly refined sections and others which are virtually untouched. Defining it as “unfinished” would be reductive. Here, Michelangelo’s poetry of the incomplete encounters the turmoil and understanding of an existence at its dawn - the sculpture at the Castello Sforzesco moves us because it revolves around the intensity of the relationship between mother and son, but also for its capacity to communicate, etching into hard and incorruptible marble, the most profound sense of human imperfection.
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They’ve come from the collections of Intesa Sanpaolo to dialogue with masterpieces of every epoch, the 13 never-before-seen-in-public Medieval frescoes exhibited at the Museo Diocesano Carlo Maria Martini.