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Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description A Pietà (meaning compassion in Italian) is the image of the Virgin Mary mourning her dead son. In the Bible, she mourns along with others. Isolating her focuses the viewer's attention on her suffering and her compassion for her son's suffering, thereby offering the ultimate example for pious Catholics. The idealized, muscular body of the dead Christ is set off against the stately, pyramidal figure of Mary in her voluminous robe and presented to the viewer so that he or she, like the Virgin Mary, can meditate on Christ's sacrifice. The silvery tones, like the ahistorical setting, lend an aura of timelessness to the subject. For more information on this painting, please see Federico Zeri's 1976 catalogue no. 437, p. 549.
Date Description Narrative
Examinationexamined for condition
2/03/1944Treatmentcoated; loss compensation; cleaned
9/21/1987Treatmentcleaned; repaired; loss compensation; coating; other
  • In the Light of Naples: The Art of Francesco de Mura. Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Poughkeepsie. 2016-2017.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [1897 catalogue: no. 165, as Guido Reni]; purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902

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ca. 1725-1730 (Baroque)
oil on canvas
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 24 7/8 × W: 19 3/8 × D: 1 in. (63.18 × 49.21 × 2.54 cm); Framed H: 36 5/8 × W: 30 × D: 3 3/4 in. (93.03 × 76.2 × 9.53 cm) with build-up
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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