Music And Sculpture As Depicted In Danny Boy And The Pieta

1000 words - 4 pages

There have always been stories and songs to depict the bond between a mother and her child. Every religion, culture, and nation has some form of tradition to express the connection between the two such as the sculpture of the Pieta depicting the bond between the Virgin Mary and her son Jesus; and also the song “Danny Boy”, which can be interpreted as a lament of a mother to her son joining the army. During the Renaissance era one of the greatest sculptures known as The Pieta was created by a young man named Michelangelo Buonarroti. The name “Pieta” is the Italian word for pity. The Renaissance period was a time for cultural growth, an advancement where artists attempted to create a more naturalistic approach to their work. Michelangelo’s Pieta is an example of how the Renaissance period balances the ideals of classical beauty with naturalism (Wikipedia, 2011).
In 1498 the French cardinal Jean Billheres commissioned the Pieta to be constructed from marble as his funeral stone. Although the Pieta was constructed many times before, none compared to that of Michelangelo’s. There were many deliberate changes made. The first difference is the proportion of Mary compared to Jesus. Some believe this is because it is difficult to depict a woman holding the body of a grown man, but Michelangelo’s details in the statue are flawless leading to the possibility that this is no mistake. It is a scene similar to that of Mary holding a baby Jesus in her arms, and maybe there is some symbolism used here. Also, he may have wanted to show how feeble Jesus became during his time of captive. The artist made Mary look at least thirty years younger than what her real age would have been during Christ’s crucifixion. When he was criticized for this, he explained it was done deliberately to show the Virgin Mary could not be touched by time. Her expression does not seem sorrowful, but more serene knowing that her son is now with God the Father. The face of Jesus also looks ‘at peace’ and not of someone who had suffered (St. Peter’s Basilica.org). Every detail on this life size statue has such a realistic depiction; from the facial features, to the creases and wrinkles in Mary’s clothes, to the veins popping up on Jesus’ arms and feet, to the rib cage showing a very thin Jesus, and the holes in Jesus hands and feet where he was nailed to the cross. Even the natural marble gives it a more realistic view than a statue made from other materials and painted. It is also noted that across the sash of the Virgin Mary’s dress is a carving reading: “Michelangelo Buonarroti of Florence Created This.” This was the only piece of artwork that Michelangelo signed. He did it in haste out of anger when he overheard people saying it was the work of another artist (St. Peter’s Basilica.org).
Although “Pieta’s” were created in other parts of Europe; such as,...

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