Il Silenzio (The Madonna of the Silence), after Michelangelo
40.1 cm x 26.9 cm (15 13/16 in. x 10 9/16 in.)
(Bologna, circa 1510 - after 1576, Bologna)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
Joseph and a young Saint John watch as Christ sleeps, draped across his mother's lap in a position suggestive of the pietà. Traditionally, the pietà is a theme in which the grieving mother clutches the body of her dead son in her lap. Here, the familial scene alludes both to the hope of salvation and Christ’s sacrifice. Mary’s lap becomes an altar upon which the sacrifice is made.