Pietà (c.1603)

Carracci, Annibale (1560-1609)

Oil on copper, 41.3 x 60.7 cm
Kunsthistorisches MuseumVienna

Overwhelmed by her helplessness and pain, Mary holds her dead son in her lap. Pale colours and the pathos of marbles by Michelangelo and from antiquity are concentrated into a scene suffused with the silence of death. A crown of thorns and bloody nails in the gloom of the tomb point to the agonies suffered; at the same time, they offer the devout believer reference points for prayers and spiritual immersion, as befitted the intentions of the Counter-Reformation. (KHM)