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La Pieta, Vatican City

4.8
#6 of 47 in Things to do in Vatican City
Monument · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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A masterpiece of Renaissance art and arguably one of the most moving sculptures ever created, Michelangelo’s La Pieta depicts the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus Christ. This statue is the most notable work inside Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Michelangelo was only 24 when he carved this complex work of art from a single slab of marble. He chose to show the Virgin as a youthful woman in repose, rather than the older, grieving Mary of most other works on the same subject. Unique among Michelangelo’s sculptures, this is signed as his own, allegedly to prevent viewers from confusing his work with that of a competing sculptor. Legend has it that Michelangelo broke into the church after finishing his work and hurriedly chiseled his name into the sculpture before anyone noticed he was there. Make La Pieta a centerpiece of your Vatican City vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Vatican City trip planner.
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4,572 reviews
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4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Absolutely spectacular. No photos could ever make justice to how amazingly perfect Michelangelo's work is. It's beautiful & touching to be around such an outstanding piece of art. 
    Absolutely spectacular. No photos could ever make justice to how amazingly perfect Michelangelo's work is. It's beautiful & touching to be around such an outstanding piece of art.  more »
  • Seeing La Pieta in person is the only way to really appreciate the emotion that Michelangelo was able to create out of marble. You really feel her pain and her joy. 
    Seeing La Pieta in person is the only way to really appreciate the emotion that Michelangelo was able to create out of marble. You really feel her pain and her joy.  more »
Google
  • This is the statue that made Michelangelo famous. After this work, he painted the Sistine Chapel, and created his other famous works. You can find it at the entrance to the basilica, under glass. It's breathtaking.
  • Beautiful masterpiece from 1499 by the young Michelangelo. It depicts one of the most miserable scenes in the Bible: Mary mourns Jesus being taken from the cross. In 1972, a confused Hungarian geologist, László Tóth, struck the statue with a hammer. For this reason, for years, it can only be viewed from a distance, entering the chapel of St. Peter’s Basilica on the right, where the pope used to change during the papal masses. On the other hand, eye-catching fans can study a copy of centimeters at Borghese Gallery without a hitch.

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