Milan | Michelangelo’s Rondanini Pietà museum

Place: Milan, Country: Italy
Client: Comune di Milano
Exhibition design: Michele de Lucchi
Lighting: Artemide
Anti-seismic pad design: Thk with Miyamoto International
Support platform: Goppion
Text by Federica Lusiardi, Inexhibit
Photos by Roberto Mascaroni and Inexhibit

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The Museo della Pietà in Milan, photo Inexhibit

Milan | Michelangelo’s Rondanini Pietà now has its museum

May 2015, will be remembered in Milan as the month the Rondanini Pietà has finally found a proper home.
Indeed, after years of debate, the masterpiece by Michelangelo has been relocated in a new museum exclusively reserved to it – the Museo della Pietà -, designed by Michele de Lucchi inside the Sforza Castle.

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The Sforza Castle complex, photo Inexhibit

A harsh discussion has arisen over time between who would have wanted to retain the original location of the sculpture, in a room designed by BBPR architects in the 1950s, and who pushed for a new, dedicated museum.

Michele de Lucchi, summarizes his concept for the new museum “The new exhibition space completely overturns the perception of this sculpture we have been accustomed to so far: when entering the room, the visitors will see the Pietà from behind, thus perceiving the latest part carved by Michelangelo – the back of the Virgin Mary mourning over the dead Christ…Only by walking around the statue, its front part reveals, showing the body of Jesus sustained by his mother: a totally new way to perceive this artwork, that we conceived to emphasize the most unfinished part of it, which could not be fully appreciated before.”

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The Museo della Pietà, photos by Roberto Mascaroni 

The layout of the exhibition gallery is quite simple: the room is almost empty, with only three oak benches placed right in front of the sculpture and a book stand on which historical information on it are reported. Opposite the museum’s entrance, a cabinet contains the death mask of Michelangelo by Daniele da Volterra.

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To protect it from vibrations and earthquakes, the Pietà is supported by a special anti-seismic and anti-vibration platform. The custom-made lighting systems, produced by Artemide, is composed by LED projectors, equipped with beam shapers, and has been designed to emphasize the sculpture’s three-dimensionality, while providing an uniform illumination on its entire surface.

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The Museo della Pietà and the Pietà Rondanini by Michelangelo; photos by Roberto Mascaroni 


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Castello Sforzesco – Sforza Castle, Milan
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The Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle) is a fortress in Milan housing various museums with remarkable artworks including the Rondanini Pieta by Michelangelo


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