Michelangelo’s Rondanini Pietà Museum in Milan
Comune di Milano
Anti-seismic pad design: Thk with Miyamoto International
Support platform: Goppion
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 finally found a proper home. Indeed, after years of debate, the masterpiece by Michelangelo has been relocated to a new museum exclusively reserved for it – the Museo Della Pietà -, designed by Michele de Lucchi inside the Sforza Castle.
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.”
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 is reported. Opposite the museum’s entrance, a cabinet contains the death mask of Michelangelo by Daniele da Volterra.
To protect it from vibrations and earthquakes, the Pietà is supported by a special anti-seismic and anti-vibration platform. The custom-made lighting system, 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 uniform illumination on its entire surface.
The Museo della Pietà and the Pietà Rondanini by Michelangelo; photos by Roberto Mascaroni, courtesy of Comune di Milano
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