Pic by Kishanie S. Fernando
This six-foot four-inch (6’4”) mahogany sculpture shows the tortured and disfigured body of Jesus Christ after it was taken down from the cross and before it was laid to rest in the sepulcher. The image shows the almost life-like marks of the wounds made by the nails on his two hands and feet and gashes from the lances on his breast. The facial muscles with its hooded eyes and the mouth slightly open shows the agony He had undergone as he hung to death on the cross.
The image reclines in a glass case made especially for the purpose. There are few ancient images in this same style found in our churches. However these images are painted. This image is completed in the natural finish of the wood, on the most part retaining its natural colour. It is carefully chiselled to retain the tension and texture of the muscles, the growth of the hair, and the linen cloth around the waist. Only the teeth in the mouth are done in white sandalwood while the hair and the waist cloth have been stained a darker shade to add contrast.
The sculptor of this extraordinary piece of art is Raymond Fernando of Moratuwa, who also sculptured the St. Joseph Vaz statue that adorned the stage at the Canonization of the Saint at Galle Face Green in 2015. This is his 130th statue. Many of his masterpieces of the crucified Christ on the cross, Mother Mary and the Saints adorn our local churches while it was his statue of Our Lady of Madhu that was gifted to Pope Francis on his visit to Sri Lanka for the Canonization. Mr. Fernando says that the success of this image which began as a mere 6’ 5” log from a saw mill in Koralawella was due to prayers, perseverance and the encouragement of his wife, Shiranthi, family and friends. The image took him a full two months to complete.
This image is completed in the natural finish of the wood, on the most part retaining its natural colour
The sculpture can be seen at All Saints Church Borella and will be used for the veneration after the Good Friday Service this year.
The image took him a full two months to complete