Pieta (1969, bronze)
Tilburg University is of Catholic origin, and this origin also shows in a number of works of art. One of these is the Pieta, the image of the grieving Mary with the dead Christ on her lap. Pieta is the Dutch form of the Italian word pietà meaning mercy or compassion. A pietà depicts Mary as the Mother of Sorrows, who is supposed to inspire pity with the dead body of her son Jesus on her lap (in Latin, pietas means "pity").
The bronze sculpture in the collection of Tilburg University was made by the German sculptor Stirnberg, born in 1933. He studied at the art academies of Aachen and Düsseldorf, under Joseph Beuys and others. He has his own bronze foundry in Aachen, where he also made his most famous sculpture: a fountain with bronze statues, which are able to moved.
The image of the Pieta was donated to the university in 1996 by the graduate association.
More about history and academic heritage
The Tilburg University academic heritage is a very diverse set of archives, visual materials, collections, devices, recorded stories, et cetera that relate to the history of the university.