In 1499 Michelangelo crafted the sculpture Pietà for St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. The sculpture portrays Virgin Mary with her dead son, Jesus Christ, lying in her lap. 400 years later, in 1894, Gustav Vigeland sketched two small drawings of a sitting figure with its head bent over a person lying down. This is the precursor to the sculpture Man cradling Woman in his Arms. Michelangelo’s Pietà has a religious content, while Vigeland’s Man cradling Woman in his Arms has a secular content.
Was Vigeland inspired by Michelangelo’s Pietà when he created his motif? Despite several differences, there are also similaritites. The exhibition displays several of Vigelands most beautiful drawings, in addition to archive material such as notebooks and books. Through them we trace Vigeland's enthusiasm for Michelangelo's works, and more spesifically, his different pietàmotifs.
Curator: Hilde Hernes