Description "Pietà" is the name given to the image of Christ's mother sorrowing over her dead son. The ultimate model of human piety, she provided a perfect image for private meditation. Northern artists often conveyed the extreme emotion of the subject through angular, rigid forms, especially in their depiction of Christ's dead body. The Pietà as a subject was developed in northern Europe during the late 14th century. This interpretation belongs to a stylistically related group of sculptures, some of which were exported to Rimini, Italy. Beginning around 1500, the subject was adopted by Italian artists, and it may well have been a sculpture such as this one that inspired Michelangelo's great Pietà in the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome.
- The International Style: The Arts in Europe Around 1400. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1962.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1913, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1913
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