Michelangelo's interpretation of the Pietà is unprecedented in Italian sculpture. It is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed. This famous work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. The theme is of Northern origin, popular in France at that time but not yet in Italy.

The Pietà (1498–1499) is a work of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, housed in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. It is the first of a number of works with the same theme that Michelangelo did. The statue was commissioned for the French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères, who was a representative in Rome. The sculpture, in Carrara marble, was made for the cardinal's funeral monument, but was moved to its current location. In the 18th century, it was placed in the first chapel on the right as one enters St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.

Again, just to repeat this fact, it is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed. And, it is clear; Michelangelo carved MICHAELA[N]GELUS BONAROTUS FLORENTIN[US] FACIEBA[T] (Michelangelo Buonarroti, Florentine, was making this) on the sash running across Mary's chest.

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