The whole body surface was covered in gouged striations caused by amateur cleaning methods. (never use metal scouring pads!)
The usual breaks could be satisfactorily repaired given that it was to be used for display only, however this corpus was intended for "Veneration of the Cross".
It would be subjected to much physical interaction; which meant that it would not be fit for this purpose, and would have to be discarded.
(As a modeller of religious subjects myself) I appreciated the skill and the hours this Victorian artist had put into in producing such a beautiful representation of Our Lord.
I also considered (As a practising Catholic myself) the familiarity of parishioners with this figure.
I could only approximate that given its age, (suggested by the patina used and the quality of modelling) that one way forward in this case, was to replicate by re-casting the corpus. Fr. P agreed and gave his permission.
This took several days to do, and would be beyond budget for this restoration. So one could say that it was done as a " Labour of love!"
(N.B. Copyright for artists can last for the life of an artist plus 50, or even seventy years; so the undertaking was not considered lightly. See DACS website. )
David Refurbished the wood of the cross by removing the broken beading (parts were missing and had been cut away to accommodate the corpus.)
He then routed the edges to add similar interest (which would not trap dust and incense as did the previous configuration.) The wood was revived and the surfaces replenished.
The newly cast corpus was treated with a "Victorian style" patina; the result being one of age, but well preserved!
Lewis and Lewis
is a Catholic family run business: specialising in statue restoration, and church interior projects.
Jeanette is a professional sculptor/fine artist and designer; husband David is a traditional upholsterer/technician.
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