Pieta is a representation of the Virgin Mary cradling the crucified body of her son, Jesus Christ, usually on her lap. It has been a favorite with sculptors and artists since the Middle Ages, but was especially favored during the Renaissance.
The most well-known is this striking, life-size sculpture by Renaissance artist Michelangelo. This is on display in St. Peter's Basilica. The sculpture was commissioned in 1498 for the cardinal Jean de Billheres, and was completed in 1499. It is considered Michelangelo's greatest work, and is the only piece he signed.