Thanks to " Duck Dynasty" Beards have become associated with "manliness" and lets face it, a lot of male Biblical figures and Catholic Saints have sported hair on their chins.
Beards in religious art tend to convey a sense of leadership and old- timey values.
Recently, we have been restoring a bearded shepherd, who'd had some optimistic but sadly un-salvageable amateur repairs applied to his arm: Amputation was in order.
A local church happened to have the exact same shepherd figure, (with similar catastrophic amateur repair works); so they kindly donated what was left of him, enabling us to practice the art of what my Grandma called:
"Waste not, want not."
With the one good arm from the less - fortunate statue, we were able to make the latter one whole again.
(Is this making sense?)
Good, then I'll continue...Back to those beards!
While the facial expression of the shepherd on the right shows that the artist has been thinking " in the moment" (when he sees the baby Jesus is seen for the first time); the shepherd on the left appears to have whipped out some lippy from his shepherd's purse to look his best for the occasion.
Both representations are o.k. but I think the guy on the right with his prophets beard and surprised expression tells us more about the moment of the Nativity.
That's why when restoring a statue, getting the details right does matter.
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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