A flaw appeared on this most visible side of the face.  It was a hole the size of a pea but it was almost an inch deep. I had run into these holes before but they were not deep. This photo is not of the hole but what I did carving down to get to good marble. Everything would have to change. I felt betrayed, let down by the marble, I was a good diligent worker! This is what this kind of carving is about. It’s about seeing something that is not there. It is a search.

 “Taking away is an inquiry, a philosophic endeavor- stripping away excess to get at the truth.” – Eric Scigliano, Michelangelo’s Mountain, p. 97.


I re-carved the whole head in three hours. Now she is alive and has the right expression and is really looking at him.

Post Script: The hole required that the top of the Virgin’s head be tilted into the block ( thereby expressing more emotion) and also that her forehead be pushed back making her look up more, fixing her gaze more directly at the face of Jesus. I was able to react and continue to carve, but I only came to understand weeks later, that these adjustments of the tilt of the head were indeed great improvements adding to the emotional impact of the entire work. 




Day Sixty Two