The pieta is an ancient symbol of hope in grief. Most famously captured by none other than Michelangelo in 1498–1499, the image depicts the Virgin Mary cradling the body of her son after crucifixion. Though her boy is dead, Mary's grief is only partial due to her faith, yet she cannot help but mourn his suffering and their separation. The death of Christ is known in Catholic faith as one of the "Seven Swords of Mary," the griefs she bore during her lifetime on earth, before being assumed to Heaven.
Known as La Pieta, the Italian word is something of a pun to the English ear: the pity; the piety, both of which describe the attitude of the Blessed Virgin during this moment: reverent hope in the midst of harrowing grief.
Glass. Wood. 12-5/8"w x 22.25"h x 3.5"dia