June 5, 2012
Many people use Milano as a hub, seeing only the stunning painting of “The Last Supper” before heading off to other Italian locales. Perhaps thinking, mistakenly so, that it is all work and no play in the economic centre of Italy. If you give Milano and the areas surrounding it a chance and you’ll be richly rewarded by art, architecture, culture, and natural beauty.
Tucked away in the 15th and final room of the museum you will find an unusual and extraordinary treasure, the final work of Michelangelo. He began work on the Pieta Rondanini beginning in the 1550’s and continued right up until the last days of his life in 1564. It was at this time that he is said to have transformed it by chiseling away at it until all that remained of his original vision of the sculpture was Christ’s dismembered right arm. Perhaps sensing his own mortality changed his view, who is to say? One thing that is clear is that this sculpture is very different from any of his others. You may even sense the master through the raw chisel marks left indelibly on its surface, just as visible on this work as the others are invisible on any of his others. From certain angles it appears that Christ is holding Mary up, taking her weight against his back rather than she holding him.
If you are in Milano be sure to visit because there is much to see including items dating to the Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Ages, paintings by Canaletto & Tintoretto, as well as a room containing frescoes painted by Leonardo da Vinci.