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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Pieta \Pi*e*t[`a]"\ (p[-e]*[asl]*t[aum]"), n. [It.] (Fine Arts) A representation of the dead Christ, attended by the Virgin Mary or by holy women and angels.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"Virgin holding the dead body of Christ," 1640s, from Italian pieta, from Latin pietatem (see piety).


n. A sculpture or painting of the Virgin Mary holding and mourning the dead body of Jesus.


n. a representation of the Virgin Mary mourning over the dead body of Jesus

Pietà (Michelangelo)

The Pietà (; 1498–1499) is a work of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, housed in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. It is the first of a number of works of the same theme by the artist. The statue was commissioned for the French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères, who was a representative in Rome. The sculpture, in Carrara marble, was made for the cardinal's funeral monument, but was moved to its current location, the first chapel on the right as one enters the basilica, in the 18th century. It is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.

This famous work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. The theme is of Northern origin, popular by that time in France but not yet in Italy. Michelangelo's interpretation of the Pietà is unprecedented in Italian sculpture. It is an important work as it balances the Renaissance ideals of classical beauty with naturalism.

Pietà (Titian)

Pietà is the last painting by the Italian master Titian (c. 1575). It is housed in the Gallerie dell'Accademia of Venice.

The picture represents, over the background of a larger niche in Mannerist style, the Madonna supporting the body of Christ, with the help of a kneeling Nicodemus. The latter is probably a self-portrait of Titian, represented as if he saw his also upcoming death in the Christ's face. On the left, standing and forming an ideal triangle, is Mary Magdalene.

Another small self-portrait, together with his son Orazio, is shown in the base of one of the columns surrounding the niche. The picture is generally considered Titian's last: an inscription in the lower part of the picture notes that it was finished by Palma the Younger.

Pietà (manga)

is a Japanese josei yuri manga by Nanae Haruno. It was originally serialized in the manga magazine Young You, published by Shueisha. The chapters were collected into two tankōbon volumes, the first released on April 19, 2000 and the second on May 19, 2000. The second volume also contains a sequel short story, "A Week at the Beach," showing the main characters at a later time.

The word "pietà" is Italian for "pity" or "mercy".

Pietà (disambiguation)

The Pietà is a subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus.

Pietà or Pieta may also refer to:

  • Pietà, Malta
  • Pieta, California
  • Santa Maria della Pietà, Venice, a church
    • the related Ospedale della Pietà, a 17th and 18th century orphanage and music school
  • Pieta Brown, American musician
  • Pieta prayer booklet, a Catholic prayer book approved by Pope Pius IX
  • Pietà (manga), a Japanese josei manga
  • Pietà (Michelangelo), a marble sculpture
  • Pietà (Titian), the last painting by Titian
  • Pieta (1983 film), Philippine film
    • Pieta (TV series), Philippine TV series based on the 1983 film
  • Pieta (film), a 2012 South Korean film
  • Pietà (book), a 1989 book by Hungarian-Swedish biologist George Klein
  • Pieta House, suicide prevention charity in Ireland founded by Joan Freeman
Pieta (TV series)

Pieta is a television daytime drama series that aired on ABS-CBN from October 27, 2008 to May 1, 2009.

Pietà (Perugino)

Pietà is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Pietro Perugino, executed around 1483-1493, and housed in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Pieta (1987 film)

Pieta is a 1987 Australian TV movie about a woman who commits murder. It was also known as Shadowplay.

Pietà (film)

Pietà is a 2012 South Korean film. The 18th feature written and directed by Kim Ki-duk, it depicts the mysterious relationship between a brutal man who works for loan sharks and a middle-aged woman who claims that she is his mother, mixing Christian symbolism and highly sexual content.

It made its world premiere in the competition line-up of the 69th Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion. It is the first Korean film to win the top prize at one of the three major international film festivals — Venice, Cannes and Berlin.

The title refers to the Italian Pietà ( piety/ pity), signifying depictions of the Virgin Mary cradling the corpse of Jesus.

Pietà (book)

Pietà is a collection of essays by the Hungarian-Swedish biologist, George Klein, first published in Sweden in 1989. It includes nine essays by Klein, several touching broadly on the theme of whether life is worth living. The introduction opens with a quote from Albert Camus in The Myth of Sisyphus (1942): "There is but one truly philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy."

After the introduction, the first essay, "Pista," is about the suicide of a cousin and childhood friend in Hungary. It is followed by essays on the poet Attila Jozsef; the power of poetry and literature, with discussions on Rainer Maria Rilke, Friedrich Nietzsche, Thomas Mann, and Edgar Allan Poe; the role of German scientists during the Holocaust; an interview with Rudolf Vrba (the Auschwitz escapee); essays on AIDS and biological individuality; and reflections on Klein's own experience of the Holocaust in Budapest.

Pietà (van der Weyden)

Pietà is a painting by the Flemish artist Rogier van der Weyden dating from about 1441 held in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels. There are number of workshop versions and copies, notably in the National Gallery, London, in the Prado, Madrid, and in the Manzoni Collection, Naples. Infra-red and X-radiograph evidence suggest that the Brussels version was painted by van der Weyden himself, not necessarily excluding the help of workshop assistants. Dendrochronological analysis gives a felling date of 1431 for the oak panel backing, supporting the dating of the painting to around 1441.

Campbell & van der Stock describe the painting as evincing a technical and aesthetic mastery in no way inferior to that of The Descent from the Cross, of comparable emotional force and controlled by an equally strongly balanced composition. Christ's dead body is conceived in a similarly natural way as in the Descent, the dangling arms and limp fingers typical of van der Weyden's acute observation. The conspicuous elongation of Christ's wrists has been explained away as the ineptness of an assistant, but equally it might be a consequence of Christ's hanging on the Cross, the kind of realistic detail characteristic of van der Weyden.

Although a fair number of imitations were made of the Brussels version, only a few were based directly on it. A direct connection can be seen only in the versions belonging to the Rademakers collection in The Hague, the Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp, and the Manzoni collection, Naples. The Manzoni version combines features from the Brussels version as well as those of the Madrid version and another in the Staatliche Museen, Berlin.

Pietà (Gregorio Fernández)

The Pietà or Sexta Angustia (1619) is a work of Baroque sculpture by Gregorio Fernández, housed in the National Museum of Sculpture in Valladolid, Spain. The statue was commissioned by the Illustrious Penitential Brotherhood of Our Lady of Anguish. It is one of the best known of the five sculptures of the same theme by the artist.

The sculpture shows the Virgin holding up one hands with Christ's body slumped lifeless to the floor. It was part of a " paso" which paraded in religious processions during Holly Week, together with the sculptures of the good thief and the impenitent thief, and Saint John and the Virgin Mary.

Usage examples of "pieta".

Later, some probationers passing noticed him kneeling before the pieta, and coming back after a time found him still there.

Nec pudor aut pietas continuit quominus impii spoliata Dei templa, occupatas arces, opes publicas, regiones urbis, atque honores magistratuum inter se divisos.

He had wanted to do a Pietà ever since he had completed his Madonna and Child: for just as the Madonna and Child was the beginning, the Pietà was the end, the preordained conclusion of everything that Mary had decided in that fateful hour God had allotted to her.

It left his mind free during the warm spring hours to reflect on the Pietà and its meaning.

For the sum of four hundred and fifty ducats in papal gold he agreed to make a Pietà of marble, one hundred and fifty ducats to be paid as he began, and a hundred ducats every fourth month.

After a month of festivities it became clear that he was not going to be able to conceive or carve a Pietà under these diverting conditions.

Those who saw his finished Pietà would take the place of the biblical witnesses.

And with the warmer weather came the Cardinal of San Dionigi to see how his Pietà was faring.

Eighty per cent of your money from the Bacchus and the Pietà has gone to your family.

Once the Pietà is sitting in its niche, no one will bother to have it removed.

He asked Guffatti to come to the workshop, showed him the Pietà and discussed the problem with him.

They carried the Pietà, eight strong, to the ancient wagon with its bed of straw, and roped it in.

He swallowed hard at the thought of putting his lovely Pietà in a basilica which had not long to remain upright.

The Guffatti lowered their bundle carefully before the empty niche, unwrapped the blankets, wiped their bands clean of sweat, raised the Pietà reverentially to its place.

Those who did hastily genuflected before the Pietà, crossed themselves and moved on.