The Deposition (also called the Bandini Pietà or The Lamentation over the Dead Christ) is a marble sculpture by the Italian High Renaissance master Michelangelo. The sculpture, on which Michelangelo worked between 1547 and 1555, depicts four figures: the dead body of Jesus Christ, newly taken down from the Cross, Nicodemus (or possibly Joseph of Arimathea), Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary. The sculpture is housed in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence and is therefore also known as the Florentine Pietà. According to Vasari, Michelangelo made the Florence Pietà to decorate his tomb in Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. He later sold it however, prior to completion of the work after intentionally damaging Christ's left arm and leg and removing several components for reasons still under debate. Some experts believe it was because the marble was flawed and the sculpture could not be completed without the addition of a piece of marble from another block ("piecing"). Vasari noted that Michelangelo began to work on the sculpture around the age of 72. Without commission, Michelangelo worked tirelessly into the night with just a single candle to illuminate his work. Vasari wrote that he began to work on this piece to amuse his mind and to keep his body healthy. After 8 years of working on the piece, Michelangelo would go on and attempt to destroy the work in a fit of frustration. This marked the end of Michelangelo's work on the piece and from there the piece found itself in the hands of Francesco Bandini, who hired an apprentice sculptor, by the name of Tiberio Calcagni, to restore the work to its current composition. The left leg of Christ is missing. Since its inception, the piece has been plagued by ambiguities and never ending interpretations, with no straightforward answers available. The face of Nicodemus under the hood is considered to be a self-portrait of Michelangelo himself.
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