Wednesday, December 26, 2012

CHRIST! Look what they've done to this painting!


‘Good deed’ by rogue restoration pensioner ruins 19th-century Spanish fresco

Masterpiece no more: the alterations to Elias Garcia Martinez's Ecce Homo were made by an elderly Spanish woman trying to do a good deed.
Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) was a prized Spanish fresco — the pride of the Sanctuary of Mercy Church in Borja, near Zaragoza, where it has delighted parishioners for more than 100 years.

But after a botched restoration attempt by a well-meaning DIY pensioner, Elias Garcia Martinez’s 19th-century masterpiece looks more like a child’s finger-painting.

The unauthorized alterations were made by a Spanish woman in her 80s who had apparently grown upset over the worsening state of the painting.

The leftmost image is how the painting looked two years ago; the middle image is how it looked in July, when it was photographed for a catalogue of regional religious art. The image on right is how it looked on Aug. 6, when the Centro de Estudios Borjanos, a local cultural organisation, went to check on it after receiving a donation for its restoration.

A spokesman from the Centre said: “The value of the original work was not very high but it was more of a sentimental value.” It was painted by Elias Garcia Martinez who is the father of two well known local artists and the family had made a donation towards its preservation.

“The lady, who is in her 80s, acted without authorisation from anyone.

“The church is always open because many people visit and although there is a guard, no one realised what the old woman was doing until she had finished,” the spokesman said.

The woman contacted Juan Maria Ojeda, the city councillor in charge of cultural affairs, after recognizing her error. Ojeda says that art historians are now discussing if the painting can be saved.
“I think she had good intentions. Next week she will meet with a repairer and explain what kind of materials she used,” Mr Ojeda said. ”If we can’t fix it, we will probably cover the wall with a photo of the painting.”

Blogger's note. HEY! How about covering it with wallpaper? Any kind would do, even Hello Kitty or those freaky dolls from Monster High.

I now feel a whole lot better about my own non-existent artistic skills.

But I will say this: it's the most unusual iconic depiction of Jesus I've ever seen, beating even those burnt-grilled-cheese varieties that sell on eBay for a zillion dollars.

I kept looking at this face, and it dern-toonderin'-well reminded me of something, or someone, but at first I just couldn't figure out what.


Surely Jesus resembles, if ever so vaguely, Alice the Goon from the old Popeye series.


Alice just isn't brown and smeary enough. How about a botched gingerbread man?

There's a small resemblance about the mouth, but it's not quite smooshy enough.

Chocolate chip? I think there must be a special stamp for these things. This one has a delightful Shroud of Turin aspect, but it doesn't quite match Mr. Ecce.
Flip and tilt him, and he looks alarmingly like Bob Dylan in his Self Portrait days.

It's weird how many resemblances you spot when you stare at this monstrosity long enough Such as. . .
"I am not an animal! I am just a bad restoration!"

But what's this? It's Homo Erectus! His hair (fur?) doesn't quite cqpture the Inuit-fur-hood-with-chin-strap-effect, and to tell you the truth I think he's more evolved than Cookie Face with the smarmed mouth. But still. . .

Ecce Homo Erectus? I think it might fly.


  1. This story came out months ago, in the summer, but I just caught up with it now. It has spawned a whole industry and brought tourists flocking from all over the world to see it. Initially they were going to try to salvage the original, but it was a mediocre painting in bad shape. Why not keep a horrifically-bad painting that is now a world-wide phenomenon?

  2. Maybe she was divinely inspired, and this is what Christ really looked like.