WHO ARE THEY?
The Christ and the Virgin are not taken from only one source but are my own inventions taken from many images that I know from the study of art history and from drawing live models.
My drawing of Christ from 1983 is close to what I am looking for in the marble. In fact, it looks like I was probably carving at the time the drawing was made because the pencil marks on the paper look like incised undercuts on white stone.
The Turin Shroud presents a powerful haunting image. I think it is so interesting that even though the cloth had been preserved and revered for centuries, only after the invention of photography could the image be seen as a positive. The photographic negative presents the amazing image that we know today. The scientists go back and forth about dating and authenticating the shroud but that matters not at all to me because the image's profound artistic quality is indisputable.
There is a type of Christ that begins in the Renaissance clearly in 1467-1483 in Andrea del Verrocchio's sculpture of Christ and Saint Thomas. This bronze is in a niche on Or San Michele in Florence right on the street. Verrochio's student, Leonardo Da Vinci knew it well as did the young Michelangelo.
The Leonardo drawing below (study for The Last Supper) is striking for the overriding geometry.
Michelangelo's Christ from the Rome Pieta is a continuation and further refinement of this type of face.
This amazing photograph from above was taken by Robert Hupka as he crawled through a heating vent and looked down at the Pieta when the sculpture was at the Worlds Fair in New York in 1964.
Our Lady of Guadalupe from Mexico is an image on cloth. Like the Turin Shroud this is believed to be not man made. Her head is large compared to her face, like Michelangelo's Mary in the Rome Pieta. That is one reason she appears so young.
Some of my recent Madonnas in different mediums: