Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pieta

The Pieta by Michaelangelo is the most stunningly beautiful piece of art ever created.  Between 1498 and 1499, Michaelangelo Buonarroti managed to capture all of the languid peace that martyrdom has to offer in Christ's reclined form and the epitome of majestic stoicism, with a hint of resigned sadness, in Mary's face and demeanor.  Of course, Michaelangelo also added a ton of ruffles and fabric folds, which is fine.  We can forgive him that lazy measure, the rest of the statue is exquisite. 

I know it's the most stunningly beautiful piece of art ever created because it's the only piece of art that I consistently revisit.  When I'm drinking and listening to music and feeling ultra feely, I google "Pieta" and I'm greeted with this statue that makes me almost, but not quite, want to cry.  I think part of the reason I like it so much is because the roles are somewhat reversed.  Christ has sacrificed his life but it's his mother, Mary, who appears to carry not only the burden of his body but the sorrow of his loss.  Jesus is done, in the statue.  He's collapsed, finished, K.O.'d, finito.  His work is through, but Mary marches on.  As do all of us, who are unfortunate enough to have not found a cross on which to martyr ourselves.

You know, I think we're all sort of looking for that big score that will keep us from having to work again for the rest of our lives.  Not financially, though of course I'd love to win the lottery and never have to do anything again ever.  I'm talking about that big martyrdom score.  Maybe I'm the only one, but I don't think so. 

I can't imagine winding up as anything more beautiful than the Pieta, Jesus laid across his devoted mothers lap.  His empty body relaxing, relieved of its charge.

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