Restoration of Michelangelo's 2nd Pietà completed

Renaissance genius did not try to destroy work in frustration

(ANSA) - FLORENCE, SEP 24 - The restoration of Michelangelo's unfinished second of three Pietàs has been completed in Florence's Museo dell'Opera del Duomo and has exploded the myth that he took a hammer to it out of anger at its lack of perfection, instead saying the Renaissance genius abandoned it due to flaws in the marble.
    The great painter and sculptor completed the work, also known as The Deposition or the Bandini Pietà, between 1547 and 1555, 50 years after his first Pietà which is in St Peter's, his first true masterpiece.
    He intended it for his tomb.
    The third and last Pietà, known as the Rondanini Pietà, was sculpted roughly just before Michelangelo died at the age of 88 in 1564.
    A very unfinished work, it is housed in the Castello Sforzesco in Milan.
    Experts in Florence said the restoration of the Bandini Pieta' had shown "numerous" microfractures in the marble, in particular in the lower part, which had forced Michelangelo to stop work on it before it was finished.
    They said it was highly unlikely that, according to the traditional story, he tried to destroy it with a hammer after seeing it was not up to his conception of the work - unless an artist who worked on it just after Michelangelo's death, Tiberio Calcagni, cancelled the marks of the alleged hammer blows.


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