Michelangelo’s three masterpieces, specially displayed together for the first time, will provide a symbolic welcome to the meeting “Mediterranean, Frontier of peace 2022” (24-27 February), which will bring together in Florence, along with Pope Francis, the bishops and mayors of cities overlooking Mare Nostrum.
Indeed, the exhibition “Le tre Pietà di Michelangelo. Non vi si pensa quanto sangue costa” (The three Pietàs of Michelangelo. No one thinks of how much blood it costs) in the Opera del Duomo Museum will open to the public on 24 February.
The Vatican Museums, leaders and lenders as well as co-curators of the initiative, will participate in the exhibition event with the famous “plaster casts” – kept in the pontifical collections – of two sculptural masterpieces by Buonarroti with the theme of the Pietas: the Pietà of Saint Peter's Basilica and the Rondanini Pietà (the original of which is exhibited instead at the Castello Sforzesco in Milan). This trio is completed by the Bandini Pietà – the only original work in the exhibition – preserved in Florence and the object of recent painstaking restoration.
The three Pietàs placed alongside one another in comparison will offer the opportunity to study the evolution of Michelangelo’s art, as well as his spiritual maturation, from early youth – when in Rome he sculptured for the ancient Saint Peter’s the work now in the northern lateral nave of the Basilica – up to his last years when, in old age, he turned his hand to the Pietà now in Florence, and then to the Rondanini Pietà, conserved in Milan where, in autumn, the same exhibition will transfer for its final stage, but with a new layout.
The exhibition project is curated by the museum directors Barbara Jatta, Sergio Risaliti, Claudio Salsi, and Timothy Verdon, and will count on the special involvement of, besides the Vatican Museums, the Opera del Duomo Museum, the Museo Novecento of Florence, and the Castello Sforzesco of Milan, also the institutions of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, the municipality of Florence, the municipality of Milan and the Fabric of Saint Peter.