Homage to Michelangelo


Oil on linen

50 x 40 cm (19 11/16 x 15 3/4 in.)

To create this work, Marlene Dumas, a leading figure in contemporary painting, was inspired by Michelangelo and his Pietà Rondanini (1564). It depicts the sorrow of the Virgin Mary holding the body of her child, who has just died. It is a drama where pain is mixed with beauty through colours and shapes. The bodies form a curve that stands out from the black background and rises towards the sky.

This painting displays the artist's interest in depicting human emotions and seeing her work become part of art history. In Homage to Michelangelo, Dumas shifts our perception of the icon. The soberness of the abstract figures allows everybody to identify with the scene.

Homage to Michelangelo, which is in the Pinault Collection, was first exhibited at the "Prima Materia" ("Raw Material") show at the Punta della Dogana (2013-2014).