Object Details

Pieta

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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:Church Street / A283
Town:Petworth
Parish:Petworth
Council:Chichester District Council
County:West Sussex
Postcode:GU28
Location on Google Map
Access is:Public
Location note:Petworth House, Chapel Passage
In the AZ book:West Sussex
Page:61
Grid reference:N9
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.

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Makers

Name : Unknown
     Role:Sculptor

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General Information

Commissioned by: 6th Duke of Somerset
Construction period:17th century
Installation date:1691
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:The National Trust (Petworth House)
Description:After Michelangelo (1475-1564). A copy of Michelangelo’s famous Pieta (1497-c.1500) at St Peter’s in Rome. The Madonna cradles the dead body of Christ.
Iconographical description:The Pietà (pl.same; Italian for pity) is a subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus, most often found in sculpture. As such, it is a particular form of the devotional theme of Our Lady of Sorrows, and also a scene from the Passion of Christ and is the 13th of the Stations of the Cross. When Christ and the Virgin are surrounded by other figures from the New Testament the subject is strictly called a Lamentation, although Pietà is often used for this as well. The Pietà developed in Germany about 1300, reached Italy about 1400, and was especially popular in Central Europe. The term ''pietà'' (Latin: pietas) originated from a custom of the Roman Empire around the time of 64 AD, referring to the act of prostrating oneself, and putting forth an ''Emotion...of great love accompanied with revering fear....of the [Roman] gods.''

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Classification

Categories:Free Standing, Sculptural
Object type1:Sculpture
Object type2:Statue
Subject type1:Figurative
     Subject subtype1:Group

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Object Parts

Part 1:Statue
     Material:White marble
     Height (cm):120
     Width (cm):105
     Depth (cm):80

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Condition 1 of type:Structural
     Condition 1: Broken or missing parts
     More details:Left foot of Christ has toes broken and previously repaired. Nose is broken with piece missing. The Madonna has fingers of left hand broken and previously repaired and the third finger missing at the knuckle. Broken piece at back of head that shows previous repair.
Date of on-site inspection:27/06/2008

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History

History:The North Gallery is one of the very few top-lit sculpture and picture galleries to survive from the early nineteenth century. It was extensively restored in 1991-3. The South corridor is the earliest part of the gallery, which was built between 1754 and 1763 to house the major part of the 2nd. Earl’s collection of antiques statuary. The top-lit Central Corridor was added to the gallery by the 3rd. Earl in 1824-5. At the same time work began on the final extension to the gallery, the Square Bay and the whole was finished in October 1827. The works were supervised by Thomas Upton, the Petworth Clerk of Works, and executed by his building yard. Advice was sought from at least three artists; the painter Thomas Philips and the sculptors Sir Francis Chantrey and John Edward Carew. The galleries are presently painted a dark red, restored to this colour during the 1991-3 restorations. The galleries had been this colour in 1873. Red (with green, the most traditional colour for picture galleries) was felt by Ruskin to accentuate the contours of sculpture, and it was known to have been used in ancient Rome as a foil to sculpture. The present sculpture arrangement (devised in 1991-3) was designed to restore, as far as possible that conceived by the 3rd. Earl. It was taken from a unique ground plan of the 3rd. Earl’s statue deployment drawn up in 1835 by H.W. Philips. Apart from the Flaxman, the Square Bay has become a gallery of works by the Irish sculptor J.E. Carew, many of which were placed here in 1835.

After Michelangelo (1475-1564). A copy of Michelangelo’s famous Pieta (1497-c.1500) at St Peter’s in Rome. The statue was bought by the 6th Duke of Somerset in 1691 for £108 as ‘a marble statue of the old Ld. Arundell’s beeing a Madonna with a dead Christ in her lap by Mich:Angelo’. It was probably carved by one of the sculptors employed by Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel, 4th Earl of Surrey and 1st Earl of Norfolk (7 July 1585–4 October 1646) , such as Francois Dieussart (active 1622-61), but it may also be an Italian copy.

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:'Petworth House'
     Type:Book
     Author:Rowell, Christopher
     Publisher:The National Trust.


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Photographs





Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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