Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Something Around My House: La Pieta

A few months ago Willa started a blog "game" called  Something Around My House

      I have yet to join in....though I do have several drafts started, thinking they would be quick to post.....but as usual for me....they are still in draft form (you should see the quantity of drafts I have!!).  Nothing is quick for wordy little me.  :)

       So, in the end, when I do finally post to play with Willa......I still choose an item not in draft form.

        Because it is Holy Week, I looked around my house to find something that meant Christ's sufferings to me.....and my eyes immediately landed on this:

La Pieta by Michelangelo

       This beautiful little statue sits year-round on the baby grand piano (oh!  is that a wonderful story to tell of God's gifts to my family!  I have a lot of writing to do!  May God grant me numerous years and time to write of all of His grace in our lives.) in our smallish living room.  It leaves its usual perch to make room in Advent and Christmas for other decor.....otherwise we see it daily.

       It came into our family in this way:   We lived in northern Nevada, just east of Carson City.......on Highway 50 (one of the loneliest highways in America.....).  Down the highway was this "junk store"....part junk, part thrift.  For years I would drive by this store...thinking:  someday I have to go in there.

      When my oldest was about five months old, on a whim, I pulled into this junkyard of a parking lot. My sweet baby and I, wandered around.....not too interested in the junky merchandise......until my eyes landed on this gorgeous sculpture.  The lady wanted twenty bucks for it in 1988.  That was all the money I had in my pocket.  As newly married and newly parenting, I just could not justify $20 for a piece of decor. 

        So, I went outside my comfort zone........I haggled.  I loathe haggling.  It feels confrontational.  I plucked (prayed) up the courage to take it to the counter and I asked the not-very-friendly-lady if she would take ten dollars for it.  She argued about "why should I give it to you for that?"

      No wonder outside my comfort WAS confrontational!  I probably mumbled some words.....including something about I only have twenty dollars and we need to buy food.......blah, blah, blah.  Probably a stretch of the truth........we may have been in better shape then than now.  :)

     Either way, she denied me the price.  So, I walked around the store, praying about what to do.  I really wanted this!   I knew I could not yet do it.  I would go home, about a mile  down the road, and think about it.......and then if it was still there when I came back, I would just suck it up......because I knew it was mine.  And if God thought it was mine, too, He would save it for me. Of course.  My child-like trust.  :)

        As I was about to leave the store, as the only customer in this junky store, miles away from a real town, she stopped me and said:  Okay, you can have it for ten dollars.  I know Who changed her mind.  I was so appreciative. 

        Besides a beautiful reminder of how Our Lord died for us....and of His mother's heartbreak, it has also come in use quite frequently for our art history studies.  Did you know that there were questions about whether someone else carved La Pieta?  Legend has it that Michelangelo sneaked in the night, to carve his name on the sash across Mary's chest......well, just read this paragraph from Wikipedia on this:

 The process took less than two years. The Pietà's first home was the Chapel of Santa Petronilla, a Roman mausoleum near the south transept of St. Peter's, which the Cardinal chose as his funerary chapel. The chapel was later demolished by Bramante during his rebuilding of the basilica. According to Giorgio Vasari, shortly after the installation of his Pietà Michelangelo overheard (or asked visitors about the sculptor) someone remark that it was the work of another sculptor, Cristoforo Solari, whereupon Michelangelo signed the sculpture.[2] Michelangelo carved MICHAELA[N]GELUS BONAROTUS FLORENTIN[US] FACIEBA[T] (Michelangelo Buonarroti, Florentine, made this) on the sash running across Mary's chest. The signature echoes one used by the ancient Greek artists, Apelles and Polykleitos. It was the only work he ever signed. Vasari also reports the anecdote that Michelangelo later regretted his outburst of pride and swore never to sign another work of his hands.[3][4


       When we read about this, we ran over to see if our own little La Pieta was signed...and sure enough, our sculpture was a very close replica. 

       This piece of art work has been such a blessing in our family.....and it is now priceless.  At least to me.

       Thank you for letting me share this special item, Something Around My House


      If you have "Something Around the House" that you want to blog about, please do play -- and leave a link in the comment box.
  1. Share a picture of something around your house or outlying area.  
  2. Tell about in a few words......or more, if you are like me!
  3. Post a link in our comments, if you would please. 

     May you find the ability to comfort Our Lady in this, her sorrowful time, 

                         Holy week Blessings,



  1. Enjoyed that story, so interesting. I'm afraid I love haggling and have taught my children to do so. Dh can't and so gets me to do it for him.

  2. I have a large oak rounded-glass curio cabinet that has a fun story. I grew up with one like it and it was filled with dolls my grandmother had collected from around the world. My mother wanted me to have the dolls and the cabinet but somehow my sister-in-law grabbed the cabinet which was far more valuable than the dolls. I was disturbed by this and normally would have fought for it. Fortunately, I had the grace to talk with my sister who is great at not clinging to things. She reminded me that family friendship was FAR more valuable than a silly cabinet. So I did not pursue it and when I finally had room in the house, the most beautiful cabinet was available at a remarkably low price (far less than the cost to ship the monstrosity from NY to Michigan). I love looking at it and recalling how the Lord worked wonders in me not to be greedy!!

  3. That's a good story, Anonymous : ). Your sister is very wise and I am glad God blessed you with something even better at the right time.

    Chari, beautiful -- of course I have seen your Pieta but it's nice to know the back story.


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