Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Michelangelo in Tamarindo?

This marble statue is at the side of the altar of the new St. Mary's Church in Tamarindo. It is a full-size copy of Michelangelo's Pieta. Michelangelo created the Pieta in 1499, just three years before another Italian, Christopher Columbus, was the first European to set foot in Costa Rica.

This is the only marble copy of the Pieta throughout all of the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America. (There is one in Brazil.)

The original Pieta (Italian for pity) is in St. Peter's in the Vatican, of course. Visitors cannot get close to the original, as it is protected by a glass shield because it was attacked and damaged once. (In addition to seeing it at the Vatican, do any American readers remember, like me, seeing it on display at the Vatican Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair?)

In contrast to the Vatican and the New York World's Fair, this Pieta in Tamarindo allows a very intimate contemplation of the scene of Mary holding Christ after the cruxifiction. I will show some close-up details of the statue tomorrow.

Above is a photo of the worker and one of the organizers of the church as they removed the protective covering on the statue so that I could take my photo to share it with you. This photo also provides a perspective on the size of the statue.

3 comments:

Radman said...

lovely. is this a copy or how was this commissioned?

PJ said...

As soon as I laid eyes on the Pieta I wondered if it was plaster. That it is marble is a wonder makes it incredibly special and I think you have every right to feel proud of it. Please continue to post photographs of it, esecially in other kinds of lighting.

David -- www.CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

radman and pj,
It is indeed a marble sculpture, hand carved. It was commissioned by the people who donated the money to build the church and was made overseas at the same time that they were getting the granite tiles made for the floors and walls, all of which had to be imported.

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