Oct 4, 2015

Christ the Redeemer, Paul Landowski

Paul Landowski Collection

Mount Corcovado, Rio, Brasil

Rio, Brasil, 1931
Christ the Redeemer or Christ of Corcovado is a statue of Christ overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro, located atop Mount Corcovado. The statue of Christ the redeemer (Cristo Redentor in Portuguese) falls under the Temple Project which Paul Landowski continues all his life. He realizes the Christ statue at the request of Heitor da Silva, the Brazilian Engineer who devoted his life to the realization of this grandiose project (30 meters). He manufactures in his studio of Boulogne a plaster Model (4 meters in height), and carves the head (3.75 meters) and the hands (3.20 meters). He also provided some reliefs depicting episodes from the life of Christ in order to place them on the base of the statue and in the inner chapel. The model was enlarged and covered with soapstone slabs laid on long strips of cloth, sewn by the ladies of Brazilian society. The reinforced concrete internal structure of the Statue was designed by Albert Caquot (1881-1976), one of the largest French engineers of the 20th century. This iconic statue in Rio was an historic monument in 1973. Today, Christ the Redeemer of Corcovado is one of the most attented tourist locations in Rio de Janeiro, with more than 750 000 visitors, each year.

In May 1922 the "Catholic Circle" of Rio decides to build a Christ figure on a hill overlooking the city of Rio. Silva Costa is in charge of the project. He went to France to look for a sculptor who could work from the drawings of Oswald.

In May 1922 the "Catholic Circle" of Rio decides to build a Christ figure on a hill overlooking the city of Rio. Silva Costa is in charge of the project. He went to France to look for a sculptor who could work from the drawings of Oswald.

Drawing for The Temple of the Man, by Paul Landowski
Landowski is now a famous artist who accepts the order provided to keep the freedom and overcome the Oswald projects. He sees the opportunity to make a Christ he wanted to achieve for a long time as part of his grand Temple of Man program.

Drawing of the project
He conceives his land project from a sketch drawn for Silva Costa. He meets Silva Costa many times between May 27 and July 20, 1924.
He wrote to his wife: "Da Silva is very happy with my sketch of Christ." The order is signed November 3, 1924.

First model
Landowski is developing a series of models. He gradually transformes his project: a model of 2.30 allows him to find the position of the body and the head.

Intermediate model
An intermediate model of 2m70 is preserved in a French church to which Paul Landowski gave it in 1926 at the request of his friend Monestes architect of the church.
This model will be increased with 4m to be sent to Brazil.

Structure interns front view
Silva Costa asks the engineer Albert Caquot to create the internal structure of the monument. Caquot is a famous engineer for bridges, dams, airships and power plants.
An intermediate model of 2m40 is preserved in a French church to which Paul Landowski gave it in 1926 at the request of his friend Monestes architect of the church.
This model will be increased with 4m to be sent to Brazil.

The Christ experiment leads PL to establish a principle: “More one grows a statue, more it is necessary to reduce the head. The proportion 7 heads ½, good for the life size must be 8 per two meters, 9 per two meters fifty, and my Christ of Rio counts at least 12 heads. Otherwise, the figure appears short.”

Hand final size in Paris
PL would have wished to test the enlarging effects in Paris. He could do it only for the head and the hands. Those were sent to Rio and were gone up into pieces to be copied out of concrete. In the same way he sent the model of 4m.

Building site in Rio
The Colossal character of the statue, and the technical complexity of the building site, also lead the press to publish photographs of work in construction.

Head and hands in the workshop of Boulogne
Head and hands were made in magnitude to Paris. Then they were covered with soapstone triangles (soapstone) sewn onto the fabric, which constitute the skin. This stone has the property of hardening in air. PL did conduct tests in Boulogne, in the famous mosaic Gentil and Bourdet Factory.

The exceptional nature of the site, the size of the future statue, the international order, are all of which are interested in the press even before the completion of Christ.

Christ the Redeemer was inaugurated Oct. 12, 1931 during a blessing ceremony in the presence of Cardinal Dom Sebastião Leme, the president of the provisional government Getúlio Vargas, and all ministers.

Old photograph
Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado mountain: one notices the gesture of welcome which makes a man alert of all humans.

Project basic, noncarried out
Paul Landowski wished, as he usually did, to accompany the statue of a frieze representing the main episodes in the life of Christ. He develops a project that will not be accepted, for lack of funds.

Final model.
Today, we can see the final model in the collections of the Musée des Années 30 in Boulogne Billancourt.

Cover Landowski museum
With the Landowski museum of Boulogne-Billancourt also, Christ left her print and opens a “window” of the Paris region on bay of Rio…

Christ in the clouds, current vision
Christ is visible of any Rio. It is enlightened the night. It is regularly maintained.
It was struck down many times in spite of the installation of multiple lightning conductors. The last restoration was carried out in 2014.

Testimony of da Silva Costa
Landowski is not only the sculptor of the head and hands, but the entire work, itself. For technical reasons, related to transport, he carved only the head and the hands in actual size. The 4 meters model must serve the realization of the work to the size of the monument, according to the conventional technique of the grid. The sculpture of Christ as a whole constitutes, as confirmed da Silva himself, "sua obra". Da Silva Costa: "Tenho razones of regosijo pela preferentia dado ão estatuario parisiense Paul Landowski. Sem exagerado modernism, que não comportava o problema mas Marchando na vanguardia back large Maestroes of estatuaria moderna, Paul Landowski, membro of Instituto de França, condecorado coma Legião of honra, laureado em varios concursos e autor trabalhos notaveis that o colocam no primeiro plano da geração contemporanea, trabalhou com o melhor eo Mior carinho espiritu of colaboração. Pode agora, o eximio artista, orgulhar-se seu talento contemplação na sua obra "(O Cruzeiro, 10 outubro 1931. O meus deshenos foram levados pessoalmente Paris has pelo qual o Silva Costa, despues de muito e is informar discutir sobre o trabalho eo precio, resolveu entregar tudo ao escultor Landowsky that aceitou has encomenda, com condição ter absoluta Liberdade estética serviendo-se of meus desenhos unicament com bases realistas para sua Concepção sintética, propria seu estilo (http: /. /www.proerdpinhal.com.br/cardeal/cristo_redentor.htm (site devoted to Cardinal Dom Sebastião Leme)) Journal of the sculptor, 28 November 1926: this head will end up interesting. It’s a shame not to do everything in this size. We would have reached a remarkable achievement. While with the process of this good Silva Costa, it is really an adventure, "Silva Costa came to me of his intention to treat Christ with a mosaic covering. It will be perfect. It could even be beautiful. But is it possible? similar work should be followed close by me. What will they do there with my model? After all, maybe they will win. The head ends up interesting me."
Curator: Elisabeth Caillet
Credits: Story

Exposition made by the Association des Amis du musée Paul Landowski and the Landowski Family. Thnks to them.
To find out more: Paul Landowski

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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