It was named by the name of one of the owners. The sculpture is considered to be Michelangelo’s testament. Choosing an unusual pattern, he wanted to portray Jesus standing with the Mother supporting the effort of the dead body of her Son. The base is a Roman funerary stone of the first century AD, probably reworked during the renaissance.
The group is made up of completed parts, such as the right arm of Christ, and from unfinished parts, like the torso of the Son crushed against the body of the Virgin as if to form a whole, with a great emotional strain.
Michelangelo was obsessed with religious themes and worked on two, perhaps three statues of the Pieta that he was never satisfied with, so that all were stopped. The Pietà Rondanini is the most original and dramatic between the Pietà sculpted by the master, with the slender figure of Christ that seems to dissolve the air in front of the Madonna, which supports him effortless. He is almost a figure of air, with no weight.
It is the last of the series and remained unfinished because of the death of the artist. The arm of Christ is detached on another block.
Michelangelo, having carved the Christ for the first time, was not satisfied and decided to eliminate this attempt. At that point, however, the block of marble was much reduced in size and, consequently, he was forced not only to thin the two figures of Christ and the Virgin, but also to make the body of her son almost flush into the body of the mother.
In the years between 2000-2002, during an excavation, the torso of a Christ identified with the first version made for the Pietà Rondanini was found. However, the status of the discovery is fragmented and does not allow a final decision in this regard. The statuary group was probably intended for a niche to be placed above the tomb of S. Petronilla, finished in 1500.
The Pietà Rondanini is located in the Castello Sforzesco, one of the most important monuments in Milan.
7.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m. (in winter) | 7.00 a.m. – 7.00 p.m. (in summer)
Free admission (except for castle museums)
Information: tel. (+39) 02/88463700
Tuesday through Sunday
9 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. (admission until 5 p.m.)
ticket office: tel. (+39) 02/88463703
closed on Mondays (holidays included)
Booking required for schools
December 25, January 1, May 1, Easter Monday