ANDRÉ DURAND Twenty-First Century Paintings
Oil on linen
Pietà as a theme in Christian art, is a depiction of the Virgin Mary supporting the body of the dead Christ. Some representations of the Pietà include John the Apostle, Mary Magdalene, and sometimes other figures on either side of the Virgin, but Durand, like like most artists has decided to show only Mary and her divine Son.
The theme, which has no literary source but grew out of the theme of the lamentation over Christ’s body, first appeared in the early 14th century in Germany. It soon spread to France and enjoyed great popularity in northern Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries. Although the Pietà remained mostly a Franco-German theme, its supreme representation is that completed by Michelangelo in 1499 and housed in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.