Ron's Log

Ron's Log

Posted on 11/23/2008

Photo taken on November  9, 2008

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the christus
Bertel Thorvaldsen

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'The Christus' Story (2057)

'The Christus' Story (2057)
The Christus

By Bertel Thorvaldsen 1770 - 1844

When Nazi vandals descended upon Italy, bent on the looting of art treasures, this full-size reproduction of Thorvaldsen's famed statue, "The Christus," stood on a Genoa dock, crated for shipment to Forest Lawn. The eleven-foot marble sculpture was given up as lost. If looters passed it by, surely bombs would shatter it from the skies... Only a miracle could save it.

The "miracle" happened. Christians from the underground hid and guarded the great statue until war clouds lifted. "The Christus" emerged, as it stands today, a symbol of radiant faith kept alight during the darkness of doubt.

Jesus is here depicted as He appeared among His frightened Disciples following the Resurrection and calmed them, saying: "Peace be unto you." From the slightly lowered head and noble features to the nail-pierced hands extended in blessing and invitation, this inspired interpretation of the Master gives a composite impression of serenity, compassion and love.

Thorvaldsen's original statue, from which this exact reproduction was made, stands in the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen, Denmark. A little old woman who helped to care for the interior of the church, once put into words what the sculptor's genius has expressed in marble. Said she: "To see the real beauty of 'The Christus' you must look into His eyes, and you can do that only if you kneel at His feet."

The mystic Stream of Life, flowing from the feet of "The Christus," appears again at "The Mystery of Life" statuary group in a neighboring garden, where it flashes briefly in the sunlight, then return to its source. This is to emphasize Forest Lawn's belief that Christ is, as He said, "... the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end..." ...The Answer to the Mystery of Life.