Pietà with Angels

Giulio Licinio

Photo: UMJ/N. Lackner

Giulio Licinio (1527–1593)

Pietà with Angels

Oil on canvas

Inv. no. L23

Faith means suffering – Compassio

 

Archduchess Maria has a new court chapel built in the former west wing of Graz Castle, which is no longer extant today. Only remnants of the sumptuous furnishings have been preserved. The altarpiece is by the Venetian Giulio Licinio. It depicts a typical Upper Italian theme: Christ taken down from the cross is lamented by angels. Immersion into the Saviour’s suffering is a great concern of the times. Compassion helps the faithful overcome the distance created through the fear of God. The contemplation of Christ’s suffering leads to a connection with God.

 

The choice of this altarpiece shows that Archduchess Maria also regards herself as a sufferer in the following of Christ. The sacrificed Son of God also stands for the sacrament of the Eucharist, a central dogma of the Catholic Church.

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