Great moments in art restoration

An elderly parishioner was upset at the deteriorated state of a fresco depicting Jesus on the wall of a church in Spain. Years of moisture had taken its toll leaving a splotchy mess.

Showing the kind of can-do spirit that the ‘greatest generation’ was so famous for and is so sadly lacking these days in their successors, she decided to fix the painting herself.

The results were…. interesting, with one correspondent saying that the fresco “now resembles a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic.”

But we shouldn’t be too hard on her. After all, no one really knows what Jesus, if he existed at all, looked like so she really had little to go on.


  1. machintelligence says

    This is simply sad. It loses most of its humor because of that.

    There is another article there which tries to explain the decline in religion and rise in atheism in the USA. I tend to think both authors missed the point.
    If you do a post on that I’ll be interested in your thoughts (and will be happy to share mine).

  2. says

    Thankfully, frescos are literally part of the wall. If she used oil or acrylic paint – and lets face it, if that’s the best she can do art wise then I don’t expect anything more then common student grade paints – then it can be removed with little damage if done quickly.

  3. gratch says

    Oh! Oh man! It’s suddenly so obvious, don’t you see? For generations creationists and evolutionists have argued.

    “If Christianity is a thing where’s Jesus?”

    “If evolution is a thing where’s the Missing Link?” And now with this divinely inspired portrait it becomes clear: The two sides were talking about the same person all along!

  4. Phillip IV says

    Well, keep in mind that we don’t really make mistakes…we only have happy accidents. It’s not going to look like Jesus anytime soon, but if you just keep painting, it could be…a…a treestump! Couldn’t it be a happy little treestump, overlooking a happy little lake, with some happy little clouds in the sky? Just keep painting, and remember, the important thing is that you have fun with painting. God bless. /Bob Ross

  5. Jared A says

    I don’t know, the more I look on it, the more I realize how amazing the new painting is. Really the old one doesn’t look like a masterpiece, and if it really is only 100 years old than it is really just a nice-ish copy of centuries old techniques. Hackery.

    On the other hand this amateur has created something truly unique and I think artistic. The God-man, perfect in form, is transformed in the hands of his worshiper into something else. A mock-man, misshapen and grotesque. Yet eerily beautiful. There is more emotion in the eyes of the new painting than in that passionless mask that it grew from.

    I find the contrasts between Jesus-1 and Jesus-2 to be quite evocative. This is the type of contemporary art I can get behind!

  6. Jared A says

    I cannot help but to feel judged by those hollow-black eyes. He knows my indiscretion, how I have failed to live up to my promises. It’s an utterly indifferent knowledge, almost like a bird–say, a crow–but he knows.

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