I have a paper due on Sunday about a sculpture critique. We were able to choose our subject, so I picked Michelangelo's Pietá.
Here is what I was supposed to address:
A. State the name of your sculpture and give the name of the artist/sculptor. Give the date or the approximate date that the sculpture was completed.
B. State what material(s) the sculpture is made from.
C. Explain how the sculpture was formed. Was it carved, was it modeled by forming or shaping as with clay or bronze, was it formed by assemblage as in uniting materials such as metals or plastics?
D. Describe the color, texture (rough, smooth, etc.), light and shadow, and the focal point (what YOU believe is the focal point).
E. Discuss the composition of the sculpture; that is, what is in the sculpture (1 dancer?) and how the elements are organized.
Here is a picture of the sculpture: michelangelo-pieta.jpg
And here is what I wrote:
I chose to give a descriptive critique of Michelangelo’s Pietá. The Pietá has been done in many different forms, by many different artists, of all the different sculptures and paintings of the Pietá, Michelangelo’s far surpasses the rest. This sculpture depicts the Virgin Mary holding the lifeless body of her son, Christ, carved out of a single segment of marble.
In 1498 Michelangelo was in his early twenties when he negotiated a commission with a French ambassador in the Holy See to sculpt one of his greatest masterpieces, the Pietá
. The sculpture was to be unveiled in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Jubilee of 1500. In two year’s time, Michelangelo had created one of the world’s most valuable works of art
. What sets Michelangelo’s Pietá apart from the other previous creations, was the emotion Michelangelo gave to the Virgin Mary. He wanted to a more youthful and celestial Mary, instead of broken, older Mary formerly depicted by other artists.
One major focal point of the Pietá is the youth of the Virgin Mary. In its time, this seemingly small detail was very controversial and was strongly criticized by others. Other than the youthfulness of the Virgin Mary, I would be hard pressed to pick an overall focal point of the Pietá. The seemingly innocent grace Mary holds; the slight tilt in her head; the very fine detail of the lifeless body of Christ, every vein, muscle and nerve seems to draw ones attention. It really is no wonder why this sculpture is referred to as “Devine Beauty”.
The Pietá happens to be one of the most finished sculptures created by Michelangelo; it is also the only sculpture he signed. After it’s unveiling, Michelangelo over heard a group of on lookers comment on the beauty of the Pietá, and gave credit to another artist of his time. That very same night Michelangelo returned to his sculpture and etched his name on the sash of the Virgin Mary. Filled with shame of his actions, Michelangelo vowed to never sign another sculpture of his again.
Today the Pietá is located in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. If ever I were to be so lucky to be in such a historic city, I would make St. Peter’s to see the Pietá my very first stop. Michelangelo devoted so much effort to the Pietá, I think it signifies so much to so many people, if ever I were so lucky, I would love the chance to gaze upon this piece of Divine Beauty.  Michelangelo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  Michelangelo's Pieta - Italiansrus.com
I am not completely happy with the last paragraph, so if you have any suggestions, I would be open to them.