Sunday, December 5, 2010

Virgin with Dead Christ (Rottgen Pieta)

This painted wooden sculpture of Mary holding the distorted body of Christ is extremely emotionally provoking. The face of Mary does not appear in its usual calm state, but one that is actively mourning. The sound of her crying is almost audible. Christ's body is completely misshapen, showing his past suffering and further driving home the intensity of his sacrifice. Gardner's Art Through the Ages seems to believe that this piece of sculpture speaks to the troubles of the area in which it was carved. Germany was going through many widespread difficulties during the 14th century and this piece could have been used to remind them of ultimate salvation but to also align their suffering with that of a nobler individual. 

1 comment:

  1. The Rootgen Pieta is such a powerful, striking piece. I think it can be interestingly compared with Grunewald's Isenheim altarpiece, which continues that German tradition of disfigurement and horror in the depiction of the Christ figure's suffering.