Baroque Style Cherubs Restored to a Northern Italian Parish

Watching the creative process unfold is a rare privilege and it is one that I always particularly enjoy where woodcarving is concerned.  Recently Mussner G. Vincenzo created a pair of baroque-styled cherubs to replace originals that had been stolen some years earlier. Here is the story of the project as well as some pictures of the progression.
About twenty years ago, two completely gilded baroque angels were stolen in the night from an Italian parish. The angels were installed on two brackets in the apse beside the high altar at a height of approximately 10 feet. There was no complete documentation of these angels and there weren't even pictures of the artwork displayed in the church. After so long a time it was clear that there would be no possibility of finding the original works, so the parish decided to replace them with two copies. The parish was able to retrieve some pictures taken during a festival at the church showing the angels from afar. With these pictures they commissioned Mussner G. Vincenzo to create copies as close as possible to the originals. 
The first task was to create two clay models to present to the parish committee for their approval. Our artists had to research the exact style of these angels, typical to the north Italian baroque style unique to that region. On basis of these models, the artists at Mussner could now select the wood for the new carvings. The angels are shaped with large chisels at first, gradually proceeding to smaller, more refined carving tools as the form of the angels become more elaborated.

After months of work, the angels finally passed into the hands of the gilder. Before gilding, gesso has to be applied to the statue and is sanded in order to get a perfect surface. Using techniques passed on from generations, the angels are gilt with 23 carat gold leaf. The end result is the completion of the angels which will return to the parish after some 20 years of absence.

The Progression of the Carvings

The Final Result

For more information, please visit the website of Mussner G. Vincenzo or visit them on social media

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