“As he reached the door of the chapel and turned back for a last look, he saw that the Virgin too was sad and lonely; the most alone human being God ever put on earth.”
― Irving Stone
The word ‘pieta’ means pity in Italian. The scene of the Virgin Mary, with the recently crucified Christ on her lap, is one of the most iconic scenes in christianity and has been interpreted through many forms of art, including sculpture. The most famous of these sculptures is, of course, Michelangelo’s version, housed in St. Peter’s basilica in Rome.
This rendition sits just right and slightly behind the main altar at St. Patrick’s in New York City, was sculpted in 1906 by William Ordway Partridge, and was donated to the cathedral in 1915. It is about three times the size of Michelangelo’s version and is one of the church’s many treasures.
I made the image using existing light because of how it lit the statue so softly and kept Mary’s face in the shadows of her shawl. I’m also averse to using a flash in a place of worship. It really is a beautiful statue and tells a powerful story of a mother’s love and loss.
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1,000