Victorious Christ

1939, THIS CAST 1978, BRONZE

Determined that this crucifix for the Main Altar at St. Cecilia Cathedral should be his supreme achievement, Polasek devoted a large part of 1939 to making sketch after sketch in plastilene clay. One of these studies, which he had worked on for many weeks, he had cast in plaster – only to discard it as static and uninspired. And then suddenly, he found what he wanted. Starting a new model one morning, he finished it in a day: the figure almost seemed to make itself. There is no suggestion of defeat in this figure. It shows the dying Christ at the moment of his utterance, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” The head is uplifted, the whole figure vibrant and alight with the triumph of the spirit over suffering and death.