Statue of Michelangelo of Christ the Redeemer
This sculpture of Michelangelo Buonarrotti, representing Jesus Christ risen, is made from a single block of white marble and it measures 205 cm. It was commissioned in 1514. The artist worked on its realisation with care, but before finishing it, a black line appeared on the marble on the face of Christ and therefore the artist had to start a new one: the one that we can admire today.
It is likely that the first version of Christ of Michelangelo was readjusted and that it is the current status of Saint Sebastien also conserved in the Aldobrandini Chapel of this Basilica.
The current version was not delivered until 1521 and, given the delay, Michelangelo had it finished by one of his students. The statue originally represented a Christ completely naked: the golden bronze drape was added later.
The artist wanted to represent the full force of Jesus Christ risen through a strong physical presence. He embraces the instruments of his passion (the cross, the cannula and the sponge with which he was given vinegar to drink shortly before his death). The cross is not a decorative element but it is what sustains the whole statue. The cross is in fact the source of the strength of those who believe in God. Death was not the end of the life of Jesus Christ and this work of art represents precisely the time of the resurrection among the dead. From the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the salvation of humanity was born, according to the Christian faith.
Christ looks to the side, an ideal audience, because he wants to show his face, a face that expresses love. For the Dominicans, guardians of this artistic treasure, it is a great way of preaching because today it still attracts thousands of visitors and it offers itself in all its beauty and majesty that refers to God’s beauty.