The Pietà, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome. image via wikipedia
Pietà del Duomo, Florence. image by ©J. Dias
the Rondanini Pietà image by ©J. Dias
After seeing the three Pietàs in person last year, I began to contemplate how artists develop as they get older. Michelangelo's first Pietà, the one in Rome, is so refined and finished, it showcases the artist's intellectual and technical ability at it's finest. The other two, which were completed towards the end of his life, although less slick and polished illicit so much more humanity. In his later versions classic Renaissance ideals are traded for more personal investigation. In fact, upon closer inspection I found the later ones, technically much more sophisticated than his earlier grandiose works. When viewing the Rondanini Pietà from certain angles it's appears as if it is pulling downwards, yet as you move around it you feel the energy of the piece ascending upwards, Genius! Michelangelo was working on this piece right up to the last days of his life.