Giovanni Bellini

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Pietas are works that follow the theme of Mary Christ's mother grieving for her son. Generally she is holding him in her arms and often saints are included as well as other biblical figures for example Mary Magdalene. The word Pieta means compassion and is often associated with our lady of sorrows a devotion of the Roman Catholic church.
This being an early work of Bellini's, has not the polished technical expertise he was to develop after he met Mantegna and Donatello. But the emotion he manages to convey in the mourners eyes and faces is very evident and is a reminder to the viewer that this indeed is Christ the pain of loss is almost too much to bear. The figure of Christ almost seems to be sleeping rather than dead, the reminder he died on the cross is right in front of our eyes, the bright splashes of red paint on his body radiate out demanding that we, the viewer, take account of the blood he shed for us.