Friday, April 10, 2009

A Mother's Anguish


The grand connétable Anne de Montmorency commissioned this Pietà from Rosso Fiorentino for the chapel at the château d'Ecouen. Painted sometime in 1538 or 1539, the Pietà is the only surviving example of an easel painting that can be dated with certainty to Rosso's stay in France. The artist acknowledged de Montmorency's patronage by decorating the orange cushion beneath Jesus's body with the connétable's coat of arms. Originally, the Pietà adorned the chapel altar, though it was later moved to hang above the door. During the Revolution, the painting was confiscated from Ecouen and transported to the Louvre, where it can be viewed today. The intense personal anguish exhibited by Mary, whose outstretched arms recall her son's posture on the Cross, may provide a glimpse into artist's troubled emotional state; Rosso died by his own hand a year or so after completing this work. 

4 comments:

elena maria vidal said...

I have always found this painting heartrending. It is good to know more about the background! Thank you! Have a Blessed Easter!

Ms. Lucy said...

This is a magnificent painting- thank you for the history that goes with it:)

Catherine Delors said...

Beautiful. Joyeuses Pacques, Julianne!

Julianne Douglas said...

Happy Easter to you all!