Saturday, March 31, 2012

The suffering Christ

"Ecce Homo" sculpted by Alfred and Aaron Camilleri Cauchi

This was a surprise discovery which I wanted to share with you as we head into Holy Week. I spoke about Maltese artists and painters as well as amateur enthusiasts who showcase their work especially during Holy Week. But there are also a few professional sculptors who amaze everyone with their work. Among them are the father and son combination of Alfred and Aaron Camilleri Cauchi. Michael, another brother of Alfred is a prolific painter who is always busy painting ceilings, domes and apses of churches all over Malta. Over the past two years Alfred and Aaron collaborated in sculpting out of solid wood the image of the suffering Christ, as he is crowned with thorns, and hands tied, holding a reed, entitled "Ecce Homo" (Behold the Man.)

The upper part of the finished wooden statue
The above photo shows the sculpted wood, before the coloring was applied. The images are not the best, because I took the photos off a YouTube video. Other photos show various angles, as well as the finished statue, with the moving and heart-wrenching close-up of his suffering face, crowned with thorns.
The entire finished statue
The statue is carried out in procession on Good Friday in the parish at Ghaxaq, Malta. Another similar statue was carved out of wood by the same father-son combination, showing Jesus tied to a pillar before being flogged. Many paper-mache statues have been created by various artists over the years, but this is the first time in 150 years that a solid wood statue was commissioned.
The face of Christ in solid wood
The finished face of the suffering Christ

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