Pietà (Vesperbild)


On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 16

Christian scripture does not mention a moment when Jesus’ mother held his deceased body in her lap. Nonetheless, in the hands of theologians and then artists, this imagined moment became the focus of prayer and reflection. Here, the sculptor sets the emaciated, almost naked body of Jesus against the ample, enveloping robes of Mary, who grasps his thin wrist as if to check his pulse. The sculpture’s poignancy surpasses the boundaries of Christianity to touch a nerve about the love of a mother for her son and the tragedy of an early death.

Pietà (Vesperbild), Limestone with polychrome highlight, Bohemian

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