Limited Edition of 275. Signed and numbered. Comes with a certificate of authenticity. Dimensions: 19â€H x 17â€W x 9â€D. Sculpted from 1498â€“1500 establishing Michelangelo instantly as the greatest sculptor of his time. At the age of twenty-three, Michelangelo was commissioned by a French Cardinal Jean de BilhÃ¨res to create the Pieta for St. Peterâ€™s Basilica in the Vatican as a tomb monument. He traveled to the marble quarries at Cararra in central Italy to select the block from which to make this large work. The choice of the stone was important because he envisioned the statue as already existing within the marble, needing only to be â€œset freeâ€ from it. The word PietÃ means pity from the Greek word for â€œcompassionâ€ or â€œpityâ€ and refers not, as often presumed to this specific work (Michelangelo actually did two other PietÃ s later in life). The theme of Mary cradling the body of Christ in her lap was all but unknown in Italy before Michelangelo made it famous in this statue. Michelangelo rendered the theme in a way never before attempted or accomplished.