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La Pieta, Vatican City

A masterpiece of Renaissance art and arguably one of the most moving sculptures ever created, Michelangelo’s La Pieta depicts the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus Christ. This statue is the most notable work inside Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Michelangelo was only 24 when he carved this complex work of art from a single slab of marble. He chose to show the Virgin as a youthful woman in repose, rather than the older, grieving Mary of most other works on the same subject. Unique among Michelangelo’s sculptures, this is signed as his own, allegedly to prevent viewers from confusing his work with that of a competing sculptor. Legend has it that Michelangelo broke into the church after finishing his work and hurriedly chiseled his name into the sculpture before anyone noticed he was there. Make La Pieta a centerpiece of your Vatican City vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Vatican City trip planner.
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  • This is in St Peter's itself and covered by Plexiglass cover so your photo may or may not tur out. There is a Plaster Copy at the Museum entrance which is an exact copy. This was done after the...  more »
  • Known as Michelangelo's Pieta, sculpture represents Mother Mary holding Jesus Christ in her lap brought down after the crucifixion. The Pieta is seen on the right side of the Basilica along with an...  more »

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