Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Woman who ruined Spanish artwork says priest knew she was painting on it
TODAY ^ | Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Posted on 08/25/2012 8:07:27 AM PDT by Alex Murphy

People around the world were shocked Wednesday when images of a ruined 19th century Spanish painting of Christ were revealed. But now the woman who altered the painting is saying a priest in the church that was home to the artwork knew she was attempting to touch up the faded piece.

Cecilia Gimenez, identified only as being "in her 80s," spoke to Televisión Española after the story spread. A reporter asked Gimenez if she had been instructed to paint on the artwork.

The BBC provides an English translation of her answer as, "Of course! It was the priest! The priest knew it, he did!"

When asked if she did the work secretly, Gimenez's translated response is, "Of course not! Everybody who came into the church could see I was painting."

But the New York Times reports that authorities in the region at first suspected vandalism, and said Gimenez had acted on her own. Authorities are considering legal action against Gimenez, the Times reports.

Television Española also spoke with Teresa Garcia, the granddaughter of Elias Garcia Martinez, the artist who painted "Ecce Homo (Behold the Man)" more than a century ago. Garcia seemed to be OK with part of Gimenez's restoration work.

"Until now, she had just painted the tunic, but the problem started when she painted on the head as well," Garcia told the reporter. "She has destroyed this painting."

Officials in the area, near Zaragoza, Spain, have contacted professional art restorers to examine the painting and suggest how it might be repaired.

Reaction to Gimenez's work has been overwhelming. Many who posted responses on TODAY's Facebook page found the final result humorous, some were outraged that Gimenez attempted to alter the work and others begged for sympathy for the would-be artist.

Wrote Geraldine Hamtil Cassidy, "Look, nobody knows what Jesus really looked like. Maybe her rendition is more accurate..."

The BBC Europe correspondent described the painting's current state as resembling "a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic."


TOPICS: Catholic; History; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: beholdthemonkey; catholic; eccemono
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-87 next last
Cecilia Gimenez, identified only as being "in her 80s," spoke to Televisión Española after the story spread. A reporter asked Gimenez if she had been instructed to paint on the artwork. The BBC provides an English translation of her answer as, "Of course! It was the priest! The priest knew it, he did!" When asked if she did the work secretly, Gimenez's translated response is, "Of course not! Everybody who came into the church could see I was painting." But the New York Times reports that authorities in the region at first suspected vandalism, and said Gimenez had acted on her own. Authorities are considering legal action against Gimenez, the Times reports.

Television Española also spoke with Teresa Garcia, the granddaughter of Elias Garcia Martinez, the artist who painted "Ecce Homo (Behold the Man)" more than a century ago. Garcia seemed to be OK with part of Gimenez's restoration work. "Until now, she had just painted the tunic, but the problem started when she painted on the head as well," Garcia told the reporter. "She has destroyed this painting."

...."Look, nobody knows what Jesus really looked like. Maybe her rendition is more accurate..."

The BBC Europe correspondent described the painting's current state as resembling "a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic."

1 posted on 08/25/2012 8:07:31 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

Was the priest crzy? Was she crazy? That is horrible.


2 posted on 08/25/2012 8:10:52 AM PDT by ruesrose (It's possible to be clueless without being blonde.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

Given the international coverage this has received, I would be willing to bet that there are any number of intern and apprentice restorers at the Prado who would be able and willing to do the restoration for the cost of materials, simply to make their bones in the profession.


3 posted on 08/25/2012 8:13:29 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

It reminds me of what rap “artists” do to classic rock and R&B songs.


4 posted on 08/25/2012 8:15:50 AM PDT by Sirius Lee (Goode over evil. Voting for mitt or obie is like throwing your country away.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

The BBC Europe correspondent described the painting’s current state as resembling “a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic.”


The National Endowment for the Arts will send her a very big check, soon!


5 posted on 08/25/2012 8:17:21 AM PDT by Rides_A_Red_Horse (If there is a war on women, the Kennedys are the Spec Ops troops.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

6 posted on 08/25/2012 8:20:18 AM PDT by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

The 81-year old who did this... senility has to be part of the explanation.


7 posted on 08/25/2012 8:20:48 AM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

It has a certain...uh...je ne sais quoi.


8 posted on 08/25/2012 8:22:51 AM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator
You sure that woman's Hispanic?

Looks like a typical white person. Maybe she's pulling an Elizabeth Warren or something.

9 posted on 08/25/2012 8:24:39 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: beaversmom; Daffynition
A little more background to the story. Thought you might like to know; it's still captivating audiences everywhere.

Much like a train wreck, you just can't look away........ The BBC Europe correspondent described the painting's current state as resembling "a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic."

10 posted on 08/25/2012 8:25:40 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy
As far as I'm concerned, her ‘repair’ job is no worse than some of the ‘priceless’ Picasso’s I've seen. And .... as you might have surmised, I know absolutely nothing about art.
11 posted on 08/25/2012 8:33:34 AM PDT by layman (Card Carrying Infidel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy
A political analogy would be...It looks like the difference between the Obama we were promised and the one we got!!!
12 posted on 08/25/2012 8:38:00 AM PDT by ontap
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: layman
well you know that anything by Picasso is not art!
That's a start!
13 posted on 08/25/2012 8:38:20 AM PDT by Reily
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: FourtySeven

It’s a Chiaroscuro Picasso with a mysterious, almost Mona Lisa-like inscrutable facial expression that captures the hearts and minds of viewers and critics alike as they wonder, just what is he about to say, “blarg” or “duh?”

The appeal of this masterpiece of naive folk painting is only heightened due to the very brave and much overdue recognition of Moorish contributions to Spanish history.

I expect leftists to begin forming protective human shields around about the chapel any day now.


14 posted on 08/25/2012 8:40:29 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: RegulatorCountry
You sure that woman's Hispanic?

Surely you don't expect people in Spain to look like Mexicans.

15 posted on 08/25/2012 8:40:29 AM PDT by humblegunner (Pablo, being wily, pities the fool.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: humblegunner

Oh my. You mean they don’t? /s


16 posted on 08/25/2012 8:42:08 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: FourtySeven; beaversmom; Daffynition
>>>Much like a train wreck, you just can't look away........ <<<


17 posted on 08/25/2012 8:44:05 AM PDT by Ezekiel (The Obama-nation began with the Inauguration of Desolation.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Sirius Lee
"It reminds me of what rap “artists” do to classic rock and R&B songs."

Rap is to music as Etch-a-Sketch is to art.

18 posted on 08/25/2012 8:44:44 AM PDT by Baynative (A man's admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for others)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Baynative

Just had to drag the Mittster up in there now didn’t you, lol.


19 posted on 08/25/2012 8:46:53 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Reily
well you know that anything by Picasso is not art!



Not true. He just found he could make more money the other way. The infuriating thing about Picasso was that he was capable of making truly great work, rather than purposefully degenerative stuff found in his cubism.
20 posted on 08/25/2012 8:48:12 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("I love to watch you talk talk talk, but I hate what I hear you say."-Del Shannon)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Sivana

Even his early ventures into abstraction reveal a great deal more talent than his well known works, very tonal and highly textured.


21 posted on 08/25/2012 8:51:55 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: James C. Bennett
The 81-year old who did this... senility has to be part of the explanation.

Maybe. But she's quick to blame the priest for not stopping her. I took the story as just another busy-body who thought they knew better and jumped in with both feet.

Another part of me thinks: this is just human nature. She wanted to do right but pride got in the way. We're lucky that this brouhaha is over one, small painting.

22 posted on 08/25/2012 8:52:14 AM PDT by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Sivana
I was referring to the cubism, etc. which is to me a visual temper tantrum.

Your example is indeed “art”.

23 posted on 08/25/2012 8:54:41 AM PDT by Reily
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

Now it looks like Neanderthal Jesus. What a mess!


24 posted on 08/25/2012 9:06:03 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ezekiel

LOL that’s perfect, although that untouched picture has certain “charm” too!


25 posted on 08/25/2012 9:07:55 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: RegulatorCountry; faucetman
I think faucetman said it best:

"This is what you get when you hire an amateur to do a job requiring a professional.

"Picture 1. Pre Obama economy

"Picture 2. Economy when Obama takes office

"Picture 3. Obama economy 4 years later. A complete transformation, EPIC FAIL. "

26 posted on 08/25/2012 9:13:57 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Ezekiel
HAHAHA!

We need a restoration to the Presidency! :)


27 posted on 08/25/2012 9:24:03 AM PDT by Daffynition (Our forefathers would be shooting by now.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: RegulatorCountry

you wrote:

“You sure that woman’s Hispanic?”

She’s Spanish. What did you think the Spaniards generally looked like?


28 posted on 08/25/2012 9:33:38 AM PDT by vladimir998
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: vladimir998
You mean they don't all look like Hugo Chavez?

GASP!

29 posted on 08/25/2012 9:40:36 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: ruesrose

She could be lying or she could have convinced the priest that she knew what she was doing.


30 posted on 08/25/2012 9:42:40 AM PDT by lastchance ("Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis" St. Augustine)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

I am an artist and I would not have touched this painting. She painted over the entire thing when only the left side of Jesus head and his left ear were gone. The painting should have had preservation many years ago but what she did was horrible!


31 posted on 08/25/2012 9:47:10 AM PDT by Ditter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ruesrose; Joe 6-pack; Sirius Lee; Rides_A_Red_Horse; dfwgator; James C. Bennett; Flag_This; ...
Read on a blog this morning:
"The last time I saw a restoration turn out this badly, it was led by George Lucas."

32 posted on 08/25/2012 9:49:01 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2898271/posts?page=119#119)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy
I'm beginning to smell a rat, myself. The woman knew a bit about art history and her color palette is not without some understanding. This "restoration" is intentionally an embarrassment, deliberately bad but full of coy references, her ego wouldn't allow her to just botch it up without letting somebody in on it.

I suspect there was some upset over not getting funding to restore the fresco, just letting it crumble and fall into complete ruin, so they determined to get some negative attention and force the hands of the diocese.

That's why the priest knew and didn't put a stop to it, imho.

33 posted on 08/25/2012 10:05:03 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: RegulatorCountry

You wrote:

“You mean they don’t all look like Hugo Chavez?”

Did you think Spaniards ever looked like Hugo Chavez?


34 posted on 08/25/2012 10:05:09 AM PDT by vladimir998
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: vladimir998

I understand that sometimes political situations in other countries can be a tad on the inscrutable side for those outside the country, and I also understand that English as a second language can be a particular challenge as far as grasping shades of meaning, particularly pertaining to humor, irony and sarcasm. Maybe my other replies to this thread can help relieve you of your misapprehensions in this regard. Perhaps you should read them.


35 posted on 08/25/2012 10:14:20 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: RegulatorCountry

You wrote:

“I understand that sometimes political situations in other countries can be a tad on the inscrutable side for those outside the country,”

Who in this thread is from outside the country and how exactly would you know that?

“and I also understand that English as a second language can be a particular challenge as far as grasping shades of meaning, particularly pertaining to humor, irony and sarcasm.”

Who here in this thread knows English only as a second language? Who here has said that English is a second language for them?

“Maybe my other replies to this thread can help relieve you of your misapprehensions in this regard. Perhaps you should read them.”

I read them. Why do you assume I did not? You seem to assume many things. Perhaps you should think more before you post.


36 posted on 08/25/2012 10:23:10 AM PDT by vladimir998
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Ditter
She painted over the entire thing when only the left side of Jesus head and his left ear were gone. The painting should have had preservation many years ago but what she did was horrible!

It could have waited a few more years, say until after she was dead.

Left is as it was 2010, centre is July this year, after she cleaned it prior to "restoration", right is the reboot.


37 posted on 08/25/2012 10:31:05 AM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Monarchy is the one system of government where power is exercised for the good of all - Aristotle)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: RegulatorCountry

She is not Hispanic. She is Spanish. Hispanic refers to people in the New World of Spanish descent, many of whom have mixed blood (African, the various Indians, etc.).


39 posted on 08/25/2012 11:08:36 AM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: layman

You don’t have to know anything about art to understand that the painting looked a certain way, based on the intention of the painter and the period in which he painted, and the botched restoration rendered the painting unrecognizable and therefore destroyed the intention of the painter.
The fact that you think it looks like a Picasso proves that the intention of the painter was destroyed, because the painter was not Picasso or trying to emulate Picasso. Whether or not Picasso’s work has merit is entirely beside the point. The point is that the painting is unrecognizable, and therefore has been destroyed.


40 posted on 08/25/2012 11:18:05 AM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: kabumpo

No, on that point you are mistaken. The term also refers to Castillian Cubans who are of nothing but European descent, meaning white. Hispanics are Spanish speaking people and their descendants, nothing more or less.


41 posted on 08/25/2012 11:18:24 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

Comment #42 Removed by Moderator

Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

To: RegulatorCountry

No, I believe I am correct. Hispanic refers to people of Spanish descent in the New World, not to Spaniards. And by the way, there are very few “Castillian Cubans”. The vast majority of Spanish immigration to Cuba was from Galicia, the Basque region, Catalonia, the Canary Islands and Asturias.


44 posted on 08/25/2012 11:53:39 AM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: kabumpo

Very few, just the ruling class, yes. Same people that run Mexico and New Mexico.


46 posted on 08/25/2012 12:39:36 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: vladimir998
Oh no, thank you.
47 posted on 08/25/2012 12:41:30 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) asked:Why weren’t we asked for a grant?


48 posted on 08/25/2012 12:55:18 PM PDT by MDLION
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

What a tragedy. Surely someone knew she was painting on this artwork. I can’t believe why anyone would allow her to have done this. That being said restoration is an art in itself and it never ceases to amaze me how they can pull a piece of work out from another. But it’s going to cost plenty.


49 posted on 08/25/2012 1:03:13 PM PDT by HarleyD
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

Can it be restored?


50 posted on 08/25/2012 1:21:17 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-87 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson