Entries in Ecce Homo (2)


Woman Who Botched "Ecce Homo" Restoration Now Potential Art Star

Centro de Estudios Borjanos(NEW YORK) -- Cecilia Gímenez, the notorious octogenarian painter now credited with “the worst restoration in history” after she botched a 19th-century Christ fresco, may now become an art star in her own right, as demand for her original work online is growing.

Gímenez, 80, became world-famous in August when she attempted a restoration of the one-of-a-kind 19th century Ecce Homo fresco by the Spanish painter Elias Garcia Martinez with what looked like a few crude brushstrokes.

A member of the Santuario de Misericodia church in Borja, in northeastern Spain, Gímenez is a religious woman, and now she plans to donate the proceeds from the sale of one of her originals to the Roman Catholic charity Caritas, according to the eBay listing.

Interest in what is listed as her 2000 portrait of a local building, “The Bodegas de Borja” (“Borja’s Wine Cellar”), peaked early, shooting from €300 to €600 in 12 hours.  With three-and-a-half days left in bidding, the painting has now climbed to €807, or $1,060.

The 12.5 x 8.5 inch oil-on-canvas painting also comes signed by the artist in the lower right corner.

The auction appears to be a first step in Gímenez’s attempt to step out of the shadows since her work on the Ecce Homo caused a sensation this summer.  Globedia reports that she will appear on Spanish television channel Neox’s New Year’s Eve celebration.

The Santuario de Misericordia church is also reportedly making the best of the botched painting, and has started charging visitors to see it.  The Guardian reports it raised €2,000 -- or $2,620 -- in the first week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Elderly Woman Ruins 19th-Century Fresco in Restoration Attempt

Centro de Estudios Borjanos(BORJA, Spain) -- It's one thing to stage a do-it-yourself renovation on a table, mirror or painting found deep in the weeds of a yard sale.

It's quite another to attempt a repair job on a one-of-a-kind 19th-century fresco by the Spanish painter Elias Garcia Martinez with a few broad brushstrokes.

Such was the lesson learned by an elderly member of the Santuario de Misericodia church in Borja, in northeastern Spain. Her handiwork, or lack thereof, was discovered after the painter's granddaughter donated the work, "Ecce Homo," to the archive of religious paintings housed at the Centro de Estudios Borjano, also in Borja.

When officials from the center went to examine the work at the church a few weeks ago, they found it was not as Martinez had left it, the U.K.'s Telegraph reported.

The last photo taken of the artwork before any damage was done, in 2010, showed Martinez's intricate brush strokes around the face of Jesus. A photo taken in July by center officials for a catalog of regional religious art showed the painting splattered by white marks, possibly the work of the woman trying to remove paint. The final photo, taken this month after Martinez's relative donated the work, showed broad and thick layers of paint now covering important details in the work, such as the crown of thorns on Jesus' head.

While not a good day for art historians, local officials said the restoration attempt by the woman, said to be in her 80s, was not malicious, just misguided.

Juan Maria Ojeda, the city councilor in charge of cultural affairs, told the Spanish newspaper El Pais that the woman turned herself in and admitted causing the damage when she realized it had "gotten out of hand." He added that the woman, who was not identified, attempted to restore the work "with good intentions."

The U.K.'s Independent reported the church and center are now trying to assess the damage to the painting and determine whether a professional can restore Martinez's work. Ojeda added that the woman herself would meet with restorers to explain what kind of materials she used to help them undo the damage.

There was no figure given on the value of the work, said to hold more sentimental than artistic value because Martinez's family is known in the local community.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio