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August 29 2012

Le tableau de l'Ecce Homo va-t-il retrouver son apparence d'origine?

ECCE HOMO - "C'est possible." L'équipe de restaurateurs professionnels qui analyse actuellement la peinture du Christ, massacrée par une octogénaire à Borja en Espagne, s'est dite confiante. Selon les experts dépêchés sur place, il est possible de redonner à cette peinture murale son aspect d'origine. Mais les fans et la ville seront-ils d'accord?

Depuis le 21 août dernier, les images de cette peinture du Christ datant du 19e siècle font le tour du monde. Une octogénaire a en effet voulu restaurer l'œuvre sans autorisation et anéanti le travail original de l'artiste. L'Ecce Homo d'Elias Garcia Martinez est désormais connu comme la pire restauration artistique de l'histoire.

ecce homo

Lire aussi:
» La pire restauration de l'histoire?
» L'artiste qui a massacré le Christ de Borja s'explique: "tout le monde me voyait"
» Le Christ de Borja massacré devient... objet de culte !

La restauration serait possible

Depuis la découverte de l'œuvre, deux spécialistes de l'entreprise de restauration Albarium évaluent les dommages. Après avoir enquêté auprès de l'octogénaire qui a retouché l'Ecce Homo pour savoir quels produits ont été utilisés, les restaurateurs ont expliqué être "confiants" et "contents". Selon eux, il serait possible de sauver la peinture d'origine.

Cette semaine, de nouvelles analyses seront faites et les restaurateurs rendront leur rapport.

Une pétition pour sauver la version de l'octogénaire

Mais les fans accepteront-ils de voir disparaître la pire restauration du monde? Depuis deux semaines, les images de l'Ecce Homo font le tour du monde et l'histoire de cette œuvre, inconnue jusqu'alors, a passionné les foules.

Les adorateurs de la toile se mobilisent d'ailleurs pour conserver la version ratée du tableau. Une pétition - recueillant désormais plus de 21.000 signataires - demande au maire de Borja de ne plus y toucher. Pour eux, il est important de conserver cette œuvre qui constitue "une critique subtile des théories créationnistes de l'Église et une interrogation sur l'émergence de nouvelles idoles".

Un filon touristique

Le maire pourrait lui aussi avoir intérêt à conserver l'œuvre telle qu'elle est aujourd'hui. En effet, la mairie de Borja a décidé de déposer la marque "Ecce Homo". Pourquoi? Officiellement, la mairie ne veut pas que le nom soit "mal" utilisé. Mais en déposant ce nom, la municipalité s'assure surtout des retombées économiques.

L'histoire de cette peinture aura fait découvrir cette commune de Saragosse dans le monde entier. Depuis les premiers articles sur le sujet, le 21 août dernier, la ville n'a jamais été aussi visitée. Des milliers de touristes se rendent dans l'église et font la queue pour être photographié à côté de ce nouvel objet de "culte".

Ces curieux pourraient aussi être intéressés par des produits dérivés... D'ailleurs certains entrepreneurs ont devancé la commune: des tshirts existent déjà et une pâtisserie madrilène fait même des crêpes Ecce Homo...

ecce homo crepe

Quel que soit le verdict des restaurateurs, la décision de conserver ou non la peinture reviendra à l'église de Borja.

Reposted fromsigalonfrance sigalonfrance
02mydafsoup-01

August 25 2012

Mal fresco! Botched Ecce Homo restoration woman has 'anxiety attack'

Cecilia Giménez, 81, reportedly ill after media frenzy and talk of legal action over her well-intentioned restoration disaster of the Ecce Homo fresco

An 81-year-old who garnered worldwide media attention after she tried – and spectacularly failed – to restore a painting in her local church may face legal charges.

Cecilia Giménez, the well-intentioned amateur restorer from the Spanish city of Borja, is reportedly in bed after an anxiety attack, with neighbours and relatives suggesting she feels overwhelmed because of the media frenzy over the unintentional damage she caused to the mural.

The damage to the painting in the church of la Misericordia de Borja is reportedly being investigated by experts, with the artist's descendants apparently unhappy that an individual decided to take the restoration job into her own hands. They fear her handiwork may be irreversible.

Giménez told Spanish television that the priest knew about her attempts at restoration to the Ecce Homo painting by Elías García Martínez and that she had done nothing in secret. "The priest knew it and everyone who came into the church could see I was painting," she said.

Although no one seems sure when she embarked on the restoration project, news of the incident first appeared on the blog of the Centre for Borja Studies a fortnight ago.

The centre posted some before-and-after pictures, along with a plaintive message confirming that someone had recently been up to no good with a brush.

"As incredible as it may seem, this is all that remains of the work of an artist whose descendants still live in our city," it said. "We do not know whether this unspeakable deed can de remedied, but there can be no doubt whatsoever that someone should take the necessary action to ensure that such behaviour is not repeated. Whatever the motives were, it must be roundly condemned."

Professional restorers plan to examine the painting to gauge whether restoration is possible.

According to the local paper El Heraldo de Aragón, the city council is reportedly considering legal action against Giménez. Her actions meant the 19th-century painting, which was already in a poor condition, had been "completely destroyed", one councillor, Juan María de Ojeda, said.

Ojeda nonetheless criticised media attention as "disproportionate".

Giménez's efforts have been variously been dubbed "the worst restoration in history", "a botched job", and "a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic".


guardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds




Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

August 24 2012

02mydafsoup-01
Das T-Shirt der Woche.

(zu bestellen hier: http://es.qstoms.com/pte/kill-your-idols)
Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin # facebook

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// oAnth: Learn more about the Borja grassroots restauration mouvement (BGRM) - incl. its astonishingly well adapted concept of arts (Herbert Marcuse) in times of austerity cuts, and further ambitions beyond, e.g. concerning the so called "Da Vinci Project", here.
Reposted fromDr-Brot Dr-Brot viam68k m68k

Great art needs a few restoration disasters | Jonathan Jones

Thanks to an inadvertent iconoclast, a second-rate fresco is now a 'masterpiece'. Turn her loose on artists that deserve attention

It's all over the internet, it's trending, tweeting, the funniest art joke of all time. You must know it by now. "Masterpiece of Jesus is destroyed after old lady's attempt to restore damage is a less-than-divine intervention", Worst painting restoration work in history", "Elderly woman destroys 19th century fresco with DIY restoration".

A woman said to be in her 80s in Borjanos in Spain took it upon herself to "restore" a fresco in the Sanctuary of Mercy church there. The original painting is an Ecce Homo by Elias Garcia Martinez and dates from the 19th century. But this triptych of photographs shows how totally it has been ruined. It's hilarious to see how the would-be restorer's efforts resulted in a complete reinvention of the painting as a crude image with a face like a neanderthal man's self-portrait. Oh dear. This pious art lover could have a career in slapstick if she wants, for her comic destruction of a work of art bears comparison with Rowan Atkinson giving Whistler's Mother a badly drawn cartoon face in the film Bean.

How did it happen? What was the well-meaning vandal thinking? Reports differ on the meaning of the middle picture in the before-and-after triptych: was this the result of water damage or the self-appointed artist's early effort to prepare the picture for restoration? Picturing how it happened is even funnier than seeing the contrasting versions themselves. Did she, like the Marx Brothers trimming a moustache in Monkey Business, try to fix one bit and then had to do another bit and then another until the whole thing was gone? Was it like Father Ted in the episode of the much-loved clerical comedy where he attempts to mend a car's bodywork with a hammer?

There is only one problem with this story. It doesn't really matter. Martinez is not a great artist and his painting Ecce Homo is not a "masterpiece". It is a minor painting in the dregs of an academic tradition. When it was painted, a boy called Pablo in another Spanish town was learning to paint in this same exhausted 19th-century style. Soon he would shake off the influence of his father the provincial artist Don Jose Ruiz y Picasso and start to reinvent art.

Google Martinez and you will find many, many references that have appeared in the last 24 hours to the botched restoration – and not much else. A previously obscure artist has become famous overnight because of the amateur restorer's exploit. A forgotten painting is now known around the world as a "masterpiece", because it was wrecked.

Perhaps this offers a new strategy for those who seek to popularise the Old Masters. What if even older, but far greater, paintings were to get the Mr Bean treatment?

After Rowan Atkinson gave a show-stopping Mr Bean performance as a keyboard player upstaging a Simon Rattle-conducted performance of Chariots of Fire in the Olympic opening ceremony, the composer Michael Nyman took exception to orchestral music being mocked in this way. Where did his sense of humour go? Surely he can see that classical music should use this strategy to popularise itself. We need Mr Bean disrupting performances of Monteverdi and Mahler. That will get the kids into the concert halls.

Similarly, the well-meaning restorer of this obscure Spanish painting should be turned loose on a couple of works that actually matter. Many true masterpieces are starved of the global attention this second-rate Ecce Homo has now got. She could be sent to Italy to see what she can do with the frescoes in the Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara. Revered by art historians, these paintings of the months of the year have never quite made it into popular culture. There are 12 paintings, one for every month, so one could be sacrificed for the good of the whole. A hideously repainted face on one of the lesser months might make their creator the 15th-century genius Francesco del Cossa as famous as the 19th century mediocrity Elias Garcia Martinez has now become.


guardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds




Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

Amateur art restorer admits to damaging Ecce Homo mural - video

Cecilia Gimenez, an amateur art restorer, damaged a 19th-century painting belonging to a Spanish church, during her attempts to fix it





Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa
02mydafsoup-01

August 23 2012

02mydafsoup-01

December 29 2011

Dulwich Picture Gallery saves St Cecilia from ruin – but who painted her?

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pixies/2011/12/11/1323616176506/St-Cecilia-painting-007.jpg

As the rescued baroque picture goes on display following conservation work, the hunt for the artist begins

It was in the most sorry state imaginable – terribly torn, with parts peeling off, no frame, and almost black – and for about 150 years lay unloved at the back of the stores in one of the world's oldest public galleries.

Now, after a campaign that was launched in 2009 to restore it, the Dulwich Picture Gallery has put on display the baroque painting of St Cecilia, the patron saint of music – and it has turned out to be something of a stunner.

"This picture is a total dream to work on," said the gallery's chief curator, Xavier Bray. "Paintings that need a total restoration tend to be very exciting. There's always that chance you might uncover a lost Caravaggio; highly unlikely, but a chance certainly of uncovering a very good picture."

The painting looks wonderful, shines a light on the fascinating history of the gallery itself, and also raises a new mystery: just who was the painter?

The work was bought in 1790 by one of the gallery's founders, Noel Joseph Desenfans, under the impression it was by the Bolognese master Annibale Carracci. Bray said it was "not good enough" to be a Carracci, but whoever did paint it could have been inspired by the Carracci school.

Desenfans and his business partner Sir Francis Bourgeois, the gallery's other founder, thought they had a masterpiece and so wanted it hung prominently in the "skylight" room of the beautiful home they shared in what is now Hallam Street, in the West End of London.

They also wanted it hung as a companion piece to a portrait of the actor Sarah Siddons by their friend Joshua Reynolds. But that meant making it much bigger, a job that Bourgeois, a not terribly distinguished landscape painter, took on with vigour.

Exactly what was on their mind is open for debate. "I wonder whether it was about the personification of theatre on one side and in St Cecilia the personification of music," said Bray.

They may also have been paying homage to their friend Reynolds, elevating his place in art history by placing work by the still-alive English artist in the same room as Bolognese masters.

There is talk about the relationship between the two founders; some have even speculated of a ménage a trois involving Mrs Desenfans. Certainly they were close as all three are buried together in the gallery's mausoleum, their bones mixed up because of a German wartime bomb.

Whatever the truth, the Bourgeois additions were not a good thing. In 1842 the Victorian art critic Anna Jameson wrote that she had "seldom seen a picture so shamefully maltreated – so patched and repainted … [Sir Francis Bourgeois's] hand is clearly distinguishable."

Bray said: "These additions very quickly started to peel off and then eventually the canvas gets ripped and slashed and was almost totally black. It ended up in a really sad state."

In 2009 the Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery adopted the painting and the results of the spectacular conservation can now be seen.

The gallery now very much wants to establish who the painter is.

Bray has tried all his friends in the curating world and been through all the artists of the Bolognese, Neapolitan and Veronese schools. "I've been trying all over Italy to find a similar hand. It is a really tricky one but now it's cleaned, people will be able to make a more educated guess."

Bray's best guess so far – a wild one, he cheerfully admits – is that it could be the work of a woman artist. He is aware he might be criticised for a hunch that is partly based on the artist's attention to the detail of what St Cecilia is wearing, her jewellery, and her hair. "There is a woman artist called Ginevra Cantofoli who trained in Bologna.

"I need to see much more by her and I need to go and see her work, but it does seem uncannily close.

"I'm sure it will happen one day, I'll find out who painted it. It will probably come from being in Italy, having a good lunch and stumbling in to a church and seeing an altarpiece by the same hand."

There are many other possibilities and Bray said he can sound like he's naming the Italian football team when speculating. "It's still a mystery but it's a fantastic conundrum for the gallery to have. It may even be a painting by a good painter early in his career. Could it be an early Guercino when he hasn't got it quite right?"

The painting now hangs at eye level at Dulwich, near a painting that is definitely by Carraccia, around the corner from the Reynolds and not far from a painting that Desenfans and Bourgeois also once hung in their skylight room.

Domenichino's The Adoration of the Shepherds was sold by the then cash-strapped Dulwich in the 1970s but has been loaned back to them by the National Gallery of Scotland to help the gallery celebrate its 200th birthday.

Bray admits he was not always a fan of the restored painting.

"It has grown on me, I have to admit. When I first saw her I thought her expression was pretty weedy, but it's grown on me.

"It is a good example of a baroque 17th century Bolognese painting and Dulwich is the place to come for anyone interested in the baroque."

Great Restorations

One of the trickiest restorations of recent decades was the National Gallery's huge altarpiece, Cima's The Incredulity of St Thomas, partly because of the sorry state it has been in for much of the last 200 years. Commissioned in 1497 and completed in 1504, the altarpiece was already in bad condition when it was submerged in the salty water of Venice's Grand Canal in the 1820s. The flood, at the Accademia, caused major damage but did not stop the National Gallery buying it in 1870 for £1,800.

The work needed almost continuous blister laying. In 1947, when the extremely cold winter led to the gallery's heating being turned up, it suffered more flaking than any almost any other picture.

It was not until 1969 that it was taken out of the stores and the dramatic decision was made to transfer the painting to a new panel. It was an enormous risk but successful and the work now looks serenely down on visitors to room 61.

John Martin's The Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum was also the victim of flood. This time it was 1928 and the desperately out of fashion Victorian painter's work was in Tate's basement stores on Millbank. The Tate suffered its worst flood when the Thames burst its banks, causing terrible damage to works.

The Martin was torn in two and lost about a fifth of its surface, including the volcano. It was considered "damaged beyond repair".

In 2010, with this year's big Martin show in mind, it was decided to restore the painting's missing section.

Now, if you look very closely, you can see which is Martin's brushwork and which is restorer Sarah Maisey's. She said: "I've tried to tone down a lot of the detail. I wanted the overall impact of Martin's work to have been retained but ultimately wanted people to be able to appreciate what was left of John Martin's work."


guardian.co.uk © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


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