Pietà, Gustave Moreau
Gustave Moreau
Pietà
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Gustave Moreau

Pietà, 1867


Dimensions
26.7 x 32.7 cm
Physical Description
Oil on wood
Inventory Number
1373
Acquisition
Acquired in 1903 as a gift from Leopold B. H. Goldschmidt, Property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
Status
On display

Texts

About the Work

Like two lovers, the Virgin Mary and Christ face each other in tender intimacy. At the foot of the Cross, the mother bends down towards her son, whose half-raised body still appears to be alive. Their youthful faces, merged into a single unit by the touching haloes, are full of grief and pain. Moreau extracts from the traditional motif a new, dreamlike echo. The earth tones lend the painting the look of an Old Master. Done in the small format of a devotional painting, the work is permeated by a deep religious sincerity. Its otherworldly, spiritual atmosphere reveals Moreau as a precursor of the Symbolists.

About the Donation

It can be assumed that the painting’s donor mentioned in the inventory book as Leopold B. H. Goldschmidt, Paris, was in fact Leopold Benedikt Hayum Goldschmidt. He was the son of Benedikt Hayum Goldschmidt (1798–1873), who had founded Bankhaus B. H. Goldschmidt in Frankfurt in the nineteenth century. It is not known when precisely Goldschmidt moved to Paris – it may have been after the Prussian conquest of Frankfurt in 1866. He remained registered as a member of the Städelscher Museums-Verein for many years after.

Audio

  • 00:37
    Basic information
  • 00:54
    Focus on religion

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Pietà
Painter
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on wood
Material
Technique
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert und datiert unten links: Gustave Moreau - 1867 -

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Picture Copyright
© Städel Museum, Foto: U. Edelmann
Acquisition
Acquired in 1903 as a gift from Leopold B. H. Goldschmidt, Property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.

Work Content

Iconclass

Primary
  • 73D722 'Pietà', 'Vesperbild', 'Marienklage' (no others present): Christ, either with or without crown of thorns, mourned by Mary
Secondary
  • 22C311 nimbus, halo ~ radiance emanating from persons or things
  • 73D82(CROSS) cross ~ instruments of the Passion
  • 73D82(SHROUD) shroud ~ instruments of the Passion
  • 73D753 the washing of the wounds ~ Christ's entombment
  • 41A2415 jug and basin; wash-basin
  • 24A21 dusk, evening twilight
  • 25H11 mountains
  • 26A clouds

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Last import

06.08.2019