Guillermin's Christ... and condemned men
We used to find here a beautiful Jesus Christ statue, made of ivory by Jean Guillemin in 1659, especially for the Black Penitents' brotherhood. We can see it now in one of Avignon museum...
Guillemin came from Lyon, he was in Avignon when the Penitents priest asked him for a Jesus Christ statue in order to decorate his chapel.
His work is a real masterpiece, made of a single ivory piece. Guillemin added arms later: he even sculpted a spare paire, in case! Look at those extraordinary details: wrinkles on the forehead, the sad face...
We have here features of a suffering man. And anatomy and draperies are just perfect... We can see a skull above Jesus Christ, who lost his lower jaw in 1811, during a procession!
Several legends hover over the statue... Guillemin’s nephew was condemned to death. The sculptor gave this statue as a bargaining counter and his nephew was released.
Another story says a prisoner sculpted this Jesus Christ: a condemned man who carved it in an ivory piece... the day of his execution, he showed his work... the crowd, amazed, immediately reprieved him !