Ecce Homo: Spaniards Outraged After “Beholding” Restored Painting

This piece by Elias Garcia Martinez is entitled “Ecce Homo” (Behold the Man), but many would prefer not to look after an artist “restored” the painting in Borja, Spain. Many are outraged at that artist — described only as an amateur artist in her 80s — for the effective destruction of the work from 1910.

The painting on a column in the Iglesia del Santuario de Misericordia had suffered from the elements, but the restored version has become a bitter joke for Spaniards. The town is considering suing over the botched job and the woman said that she had been restoring the painting for years and finally gave up. What is clear is that it is not a crime, but it is a sacrilege.

The town has brought in a team of experts to determine if the original can still be recovered, though expectations are low.

The good news is that police can release the first suspect rounded up after the discovery . . .

Source: Telegraph

15 thoughts on “Ecce Homo: Spaniards Outraged After “Beholding” Restored Painting”

  1. I’m sorry, is it just me that thinks this may be a total hoax? It feels to me like it can’t be real…she turns an antique into a low-energy Picasso-looky-kooky dime-store print? This can’t be real…

  2. I have to wonder who hired her in the first place, based upon what qualifications and what samples of her work, and who was charged with “overseeing” the continuing “restoration.” Perhaps the result speaks more to those who were responsible for havng the restoration done than to the so-called “restorer.” It’s sad to see any piece of art destroyed, irrespective of the subjectivity of what is good or bad art.

  3. I’ve been in a number of art classes and have seen work by various amateur artists who don’t have a clue as to how absolutely horrible their work is. They are earnest in their attempts but clueless as to how far they are from knowing what they are doing.

  4. I must say, I rather enjoy the new piece of art.

    I only wonder what the woman was thinking. Was she thinking that she was restoring to original condition, was she thinking she was improving upon the original, I would LOVE to know her thought process.

    But let’s be honest…if the new rendition were an original piece by a well known artist, it would likely be called a masterpiece, since it is an ‘amateur’ its supposedly junk.

    This, to me, presents a paradox. If art is subjective in value, how can we possibly consider one individual an amateur and another the opposite of amateur, e.g. professional?

    Just to be contrarian, I will say that I would pay $100 for this ‘amateurs’ work of art and that I would not pay a dime for Garcia-Martinez’s version. Who is the amateur now?

  5. Oro Lee, agreed.
    If they sare angry it should be with whomever, or whatever panel, decided to hire an amateur. If they knew she was not a professional they got what they paid fro.

  6. The amateur artist must have had official approval to begin the job and then to continue it. She did the best she could. It’s a job for the professionals, it was at the beginning and it certainly is now. I think a skilled professional could remove what the amateur added, and then reconstruct the original. Maybe not, but that’s for the pros to decide.

    I’m not a particular fain of religious art but it’s not all bad, after all, the church did keep a number of artists employed for years. Those paying the piper get to name the tune.

  7. I would leave it — today’s image of the Christ has about as much likeness to the original as do today’s gospel teachings to the teachings of Christ

  8. AY,

    I read somewhere yesterday that they are having it assessed by restoration professionals, but the initial assessment is that it might not be salvageable. They plan to put a photograph of the original up over the spot if it cannot be restored.

  9. If I recall from art history….. If the original was not scrapped down…. It’s possible to follow most if not all of the brush strokes….. A lot will depend on how it was cured and other element factors…

  10. Zarathustra,

    I’m no fan of organized religion, but I am a fan of good art as in well executed even if the subject matter is not to my personal tastes. Disposing of all the religious art is something extremists would do. Like when the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan in 2001 or the Catholic Church through its functionary Bishop Diego de Landa ordered the destruction of the Maya codices in July of 1562 and thus depriving the world of a great cultural treasure, a huge block of human history and probably a scientific treasure trove as well. Art is one of the – some would argue few – things about humans that is a net gain. Destroying it is a retrograde action in the overall advancement of human civilization.

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