St. Augustine believed that pleasure is associated with beauty, with beauty being the cause of that aesthetic pleasure which is perceived by the senses. He also said that what is beautiful must have unity and order, for example, in proportion and symmetry.
I can tell you that when I was asked to restore this statue, it had lost much of its original beauty. Some might even have called it “ugly”, because some of its integrity in color, symmetry and proportion had been lost. Both heads were broken off; the crown chipped; a finger of the Infant Jesus broken; the right hand of our Lady broken off – with fingers missing; a chunk of her hair and veil from her left side were also missing; and the skin coloring had turned a greenish hue.
Hurray! Today I finally finished and our Lady will soon be returned to her owners at the Carmelite Monastery of Traverse City. (October 31, 3012 update: The Sisters asked me to change the color of the veil to white, which I did. I have to admit, this small change adds further beauty to the statue because the gold band shows up so much brighter against the white. I added tinges of almost imperceivable blue to an off-white veil of a lighter shade then the Infant’s garment. Very pretty! Unfortunately, I did not get the opportunity to snap a picture showing this modification.)
Here is another shot:
The original pattern had a secular motif, but with a little creativity, we turned it into something suitable for an altar cloth.
Below, is a work in progress, a piece which is currently over 4 yards long.
There! I hope “someone out there” will derive at least a little aesthetic pleasure from viewing these images.