Pieta

H.J. Sinkel

oil on wood panel 

1862

In Christian tradition, the Mother of God is closely allied with her Divine Son.  Her Fiat - may it be done to me according to your word, (Luke 1:38) - extends thoughout the Gospel until, standing beneath the cross of her dying son, she is finally overcome with grief.

This powerful image - Mary cradling the lifeless body of her son - has inspired artists through the centuries, most notably Michelangelo in the 16th century.  Much like Michelangelo's peerless marble, Sinkel's work depicts the Virgin not as a woman disfigured by grief but young and fair, symbolizing Mary's enduring purity and abiding acceptance of God's will.

Shrine Permanent Collection - Acquired 1992