From 22 October 2022 to 8 January 2023, the magnificent Sala della Cariatidi at Palazzo Reale in Milan will host the exhibition Le Pietà di Michelangelo. Tre calchi storici per la Sala delle Cariatidi. The exhibition – promoted and produced by the Municipality of Milan-Culture and organized by Palazzo Reale with the collaboration of Castello Sforzesco – is curated by Giovanna Mori, Domenico Piraina and Claudio Salsi.
Born from the synergy between the Municipality of Milan, the Municipality of Florence and the Vatican Museums, the exhibition will allow the visitor to appreciate Michelangelo's art and creativity through the comparison of three 19th-20th century plaster casts, in ideal continuity with the exhibition that has just ended with great success at the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence.
The three Pietas by Michelangelo, in the form of their plaster casts, are now arriving in Milan, where they will be exceptionally reunited in a spectacular and exciting setting designed by Massimo Chimenti in the Sala delle Cariatidi of Palazzo Reale, which will act as a unique and unrepeatable stage. Three long sheets, unfolded for the entire height of the room and with a great visual impact, will form the background of the Pietas, amplifying their strong aesthetic value and the religious sense evoked by the sculptor in three different phases of his life.
The cast of the St. Peter's Pietà in the Vatican City was realised in 1975 in the Cast and Plaster Laboratory of the Vatican Museums by Ulderico Grispigni; the occasion for its creation came at a dramatic moment for the Pietà, i.e. the vandalism against the sculpture in 1972, which made it necessary to prepare a new cast.
The cast of the Santa Maria del Fiore Pietà in Florence, called Pietà Bandini, preserved in the collection of the Florentine Gypsotheque of the Porta Romana Art Institute, dates back to around 1882 and is due to the Florentine moulder Oronzo Lelli.
The cast of the Pietà Rondanini was commissioned in 1953 to the Milanese moulder Cesare Gariboldi, in order to determine in the best possible way and in total safety the ideal location for the sculpture, during the preparation tests of the marble statue preserved since 1952 in the Castello Sforzesco. Today exhibited after careful cleaning, it is usually kept in the deposits of the Museum of Ancient Art.
On the occasion of the exhibition, a careful documentary and iconographic research on the three Pietas was promoted and aimed at creating a visual narrative capable of presenting some episodes of recent history that had Michelangelo's sculptures as protagonists: restorations, installations and transfers immortalized by living testimonies such as photographs and period films from important Italian archives and photo libraries that have collaborated on the project.
The exhibition itinerary aims to focus in the eyes of visitors precisely this experience, meaning the growing of feelings of one of the greatest geniuses in the history of art, showing how the same drama can achieve such different outcomes, in the hands of an artist immersed in time and in the becoming of inspiration.
The catalogue, published by Silvana Editoriale, can count on texts of the Scientific Committee and the curators and presents important essays and catalogue cards relating to Michelangelo's three Pietas, starting from the early Vatican Pietà, to the Florentine Pietà of maturity and finally to the Pietà Rondanini, sculpted late in life and left unfinished.
Palazzo Reale, Milan. Sala delle Cariatidi
22 October 2022 - 8 January 2023
Tuesday to Sunday: 10.00 - 19.30
Thursday: 10.00 - 22.30
Closed on Monday
Press Office for the Exhibition
Studio ESSECI di Sergio Campagnolo
tel. +39 049663499