I still cannot comprehend how a twenty-four year old can feel so much tragedy and was able to create such a powerful piece out of a single stone in just 2 years…
I believe I am not alone wondering this, as even Michelangelo’s contemporaries of were attributing his “Pieta” to other, more mature sculptors. Young Michelangelo got so offended, that he carved his name on the sash running across the Virgin Mary’s chest, to stop these rumors forever. It is known that he later regretted giving in to his pride and doing this, so the Pieta remains the only work he signed.
We owe the “pleasure” of looking at the Pieta at San Pietro (Saint Peter’s) Basilica through the bulletproof Plexiglas to a crazy geologist who attacked it with a sledgehammer, so viciously that pieces of marble were flying all over the place.
Mary’s nose was broken, many big and small pieces of marble were picked up by the crowd and lost forever, so to restore the sculpture pieces from the back were used to better match the stone.
What is it about great masterpieces that they awaken the worst beasts in people and evoke mindless rage and destruction in unstable souls?