The Holy See Press Office announced on October 29, 2018, that a cutting-edge lighting system has been installed to showcase Michelangelo’s Pieta in the chapel of the Vatican Basilica where it is venerated by millions of pilgrims every year.
The new lighting technique uses compact bulbs in order to remain as invisible as possible, with a warm white tone and maximum chromatic output.
The company iGuzzini Illuminazione has installed a system of projectors divided into several groups whose intensity can be adjusted, making it possible to vary the lighting with four different programs:
1st program: the light concentrates on the sculpture while the floor, ceiling and background are left as dim as possible. The balance of the light and dark reveals the plasticity of the work drawing the eye both to the particular details and to the overall harmony.
2nd program: a ray of light shines on the Pieta diagonally. This marks the shadows more clearly. The varying degrees of soft light from the arches and background frame the marble, leaving the arches and ground almost in the dark.
3rd program: all the lights are turned on. The sculpture is absolutely dazzling and becomes a source of light in itself. The light from the central arch, arcades and side arches is stronger.
4th program: the lighting comes from the front. The rays of light cross at symmetrical angles. The central arch is fully lit, and the arcades and side arches receive a less intense light.