I am creating a kiosk, which will run a slide show of famous works of sculpture. Two of the works that I am wishing to include in the display are Pietà¡s. However I am needing assistance in comparing Michelangelo's Pieta, to the German Pieta, commonly known as the Rottgen Pietta. Provide background on the pieces thus they will answer the following questions.
1 - What is the artist trying to convey in each of these two very different interpretations? For instance, I am wishing to compare and contrast the approaches used by each of these two artists, the symbolism, the materials used, the pose, and the facial expressions.
2 - What bearing did the different centuries have upon the two very different approaches? 3 - The German Pieta is from the Late Gothic period. Michelangelo was an Italian Renaissance artist. How do differing regional influences and differing time periods affect the artworks produced?
From the information that I have gathered - the Michelangelo's Pieta is a marble carved statue that currently rests in the Basilica of St. Peters in Rome. Due the time period it was made to depict figures or a feeling that was true to life. The features of both Mary and Jesus are delicate and the wounds have minimal or subtle detail. Thus, it would appear that Michelangelo is wishing to draw attention from the wounds and to that of the feelings of Mary within the piece. Thus, this was a piece that depicted the apparent despair of Mary - her being one of a young woman at peace but also in despair thus it was a truly masterful artistic design of the sculpture. As the body of Christ had great detail which relayed muscles, veins, ribs, nerves and other humanistic aspects yet it also allowed one to still view it as the form that it was - and that was the body of a corpse. The utilization marble assisted Michelangelo to depict such detail within this statue. He signed this piece which from what I read he had trouble with - as during this time they were cratsman and not true artists - thus they did not sign their name to take credit so to speak for pieces. However, he signed this piece which provided him guilt originally and caused him great struggle due to his religious faith.
However, the German or Rottgen Pieta which was done by an unknown artist is made of wood which was harder to instill such detail. This peace however seems to focus less on the spiritualist feelings of Mary at peace or love of Jesus but at the sorrow of the occasion. This is apparent with the oversized features or body parts such as the heads to draw attention to their facial expression and sorrow throughout the piece.
These pieces not only show how the utilization of artistic design can change the mood and interpretation of work. An artist can be guided by inner emotions, thoughts and feelings and also by outer surrounds which can all affect the outcome of their individual pieces.
However I am very shaky within this subject thus I am unsure if my interpretation is correct and/or would like further assistance if at all possible.
The Rottgen Pieta is typical of German expressionism - a style employed by German sculptors and painters that emphasized expressive lines, strange proportions, and exaggerated spatial relationships. It was a style emphasized by German mysticism, and the style valued the emotional impact and subjective /personal connection with God over accuracy. It was believed that one could use their feelings to unite themselves personally with God. This is the idea behind the Rottgen Pieta. The desire for personal communion with God led artists to represent figures with strong emotions. Here, in this work is a suffering Christ and a very sorrowful Virgin Mary. The grotesque nature of the dead Christ, in his rigor mortis state, is meant to hold the viewer's attention so that they may actual "feel" the suffering of Christ. His body is emaciated, his wounds leak rigid rivers of blood, and his face shows the full ...
This solution provides assistance in comparing Michelangelo's Pieta, to the German Pieta, commonly known as the Rottgen Pietta. It also offers a snapshot of the historical period in which each item was created.