Michelangelo sets his scene at the base of the cross, and Christ’s body is slumped in the lap of the Virgin’s, who supports his weight, as two putti brace his arms over her raised knees. In the present painting, the artist instead places the figures before Christ’s tomb. Christ is seated on a stone plinth, his torso and arms supported by two angels, represented here in adult form, and the Virgin, no longer sustaining his weight, is shown on a higher plane, at the mouth of the tomb. In its present incarnation, the composition relates more closely to an engraving of the Pietà by Battista del Moro, now in the Ortalli collection, Biblioteca Palatina, Parma (inv. no. 1565).1
1. P. Marini, H. Burns, L. Magagnato et al., Paladio e Verona, exhibition catalogue, Verona 1980, p. 270, cat. no. XI,23, reproduced p. 269, fig. XI,23.
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