Michelangelo - Pieta (1499)
This masterpiece of Italian Renaissance sculpture is located in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Michelangelo was commissioned to make it by the French envoy to Rome, Cardinal Jean de Billheres. This explains the subject matter which was unusual for Italy at the time. Maria has been depicted at a surprisingly young age.
Michelangelo is widely regarded as the most famous artist of the Italian Renaissance. Among his works are the "David" and "Pieta" statues and the Sistine Chapel frescoes.
Michelangelo's distinctive style: a muscular precision and reality combined with an almost lyrical beauty. Two relief sculptures that survive, "Battle of the Centaurs" and "Madonna Seated on a Step," are testaments to his unique talent at the tender age of 16.