CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

The Heavenly Host: Angel Pietàs of the Italian Renaissance

Melissa L. Shive, University of Pennsylvania

Division: Humanities

Dept/Program: Art History

Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research

Mentor(s): Michael Cole

Date of this Version: 06 August 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.



The Angel Pietà or Pietà with Angels was a common iconographical type in Renaissance Italy. However, much of its tradition and meaning still have not been adequately investigated. This paper serves to describe the history and iconography of the Angel Pietà and present three new interpretations of the enigmatic Angel Pietàs of three artists: Andrea del Sarto, Rosso Fiorentino, and Jacopo da Pontormo. The paper elucidates a Virgin as Priest motif in Andrea's painting, a relationship to the Holy Week rite of the Tenebrae in Rosso's painting, and a connection to relief and an emphasis on the viewer in Pontormo's painting.

Suggested Citation

Shive, Melissa L., "The Heavenly Host: Angel Pietàs of the Italian Renaissance" 06 August 2006. CUREJ: College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania,

Date Posted: 07 August 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.




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