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See also: pieta, Pietà, pietä, and pięta


The western gate of the church of Maria am Gestade, Vienna, featuring a mosaic pietà


From Italian pietà. Doublet of pietas, piety, and pity.


pietà (plural pietàs)

  1. A sculpture or painting of the Virgin Mary holding and mourning the dead body of Jesus.
    • 1998, David Adams, Afterword: The Artistic Alchemy of Joseph Beuys, Rudolf Steiner, Thomas Braatz (translator), Bees, page 195,
      Whereas Beuys's early sculptural work was consciously formed within a modernized version of the stylized Romanesque tradition of art, frequently with a Christian content such as crucifixions or pietàs, he gradually was able to free himself from this more traditional approach.
    • 2009, Pico Iyer, 5: Making Kindness Stand to Reason, Rajiv Mehrotra (editor), Understanding the Dalai Lama, page 61,
      Ceremonial masks, Hindu deities, and pietàs shine down on you.
    • 2011, Caroline van Eck, Stijn Bussels, Theatricality in Early Modern Art and Architecture, page 10,
      It does not show the events it depicts as static, frozen in the eternal present of historia sacra in the way many late medieval crucifixions, pietàs or annunciations do, but as a narrative.

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Alternative forms[edit]


From Old Italian pietade, pietate, from Latin pietātem, accusative case form of pietās (piety”, “pity).
Equivalent to pio (pious) +‎ -ietà (-ity).


  • IPA(key): /pjeˈta/, [pjeˈt̪ä]
  • Rhymes: -a
  • Hyphenation: pie‧tà


pietà f (invariable)

  1. pity, compassion, godliness
  2. piety
  3. (art) pietà

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