Stone Carving


Marty has been commissioned by our clients Jon and Sloan Buccola of St. Helena, California to create a hand-carved stone sculpture using Iowa Limestone. The sculpture is modeled on the “Christ in the Labyrinth” fresco located in the former church of San Francesco in Alatri, Italy, famous for its monumental city walls.
Once a convent, then a prison and criminal court, the building is now used as a cultural center. During restoration work in 1996, a tunnel was discovered beneath the old church, containing a number of fresco paintings, including a depiction of “Christ in the Labyrinth,” a unicursal labyrinth formed from 12 concentric black circles, with a pathway identical to that of Chartres. Christ appears at the center, his face bearded and his head surrounded by a halo inscribed with a cross and wears a tunic and a golden cloak. His right hand, fingers extended in benediction, point to the path of the labyrinth, while his left-hand holds a book of scripture.

When found the frescos were in poor condition, but because of their importance, the Italian Government commissioned restoration work to be carried out during 2011. This work also confirmed the dating of the frescos, including the labyrinth, to be between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries AD. The renovations have not, however, been able to solve some of the other mysteries surrounding the frescos. The original location and purpose of the frescos is uncertain, as they were not originally situated in a tunnel, as they are now, but were possibly on the wall of a larger chapter room of the monastery.

Marty has already spent time connecting with the stone to release the image, leaving this beautiful work of art to inspire future generations. Keep up to date with this historic and creative endeavor; we will be taking video and photos to share the process! The finished work of art will be placed next to the beautifully paved labyrinth that Marty created at the same property last year.

The best artist has that thought alone
Which is contained within the marble shell;
The sculptor’s hand can only break the spell
To free the figures slumbering in the stone.
– Michelangelo

Information and photos provided for Labyrinths in Stone by Jeff Saward of Labyrinthos – see “The Alatri Labyrinth Fresco” by Giancarlo Pavat in Caerdroia 40.