ATTENTION TO DETAIL
At the base of Sibbel's statue, "Purgatory," a tortured soul rises from the flames. The top portion of this statue, located in the lower level of St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh, features a female figure as she casts off the veil of sin and rises to heaven.
(Click on image for full view of statue.)
At the base of this extraordinary marble statue of St. Bonaventure located in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, Sibbel carved two symbols of the life of this 13th century Doctor of the Church: the book to represent his role as theologian and writer, and his galero, resting on top, draped to expose the appropriate number of knots indicating a cardinal. (Click on image for larger view.)
Above, in this close-up of the marble statue of St. Alphonsus, also located in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, Sibbel exhibits his talent for exquisite detail in the design of the fabric and in the title of the document being composed by the saint; a treatise on moral theology.
Click on image for full view of statue.
Sibbel exhibited his Catholic faith proudly in all his works. The fine details of his statues and groups show evidence of his knowledge of the stories of the saints and the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. From one of his business brochures, in his own words, Sibbel describes his goal:
"From the very beginning of my career as ecclestiastical sculptor it has been my constant and untiring ambition to combat the conventional manner of representing statuary so prevalent at the present day, and so destructive of true art, and to follow the great masters of the Renaissance in creating originality of design based on and consistent with history, tradition and study from life models. To be effective, ecclesiastical art must be practiced in a conscientious manner; it must inspire devotion, preach, stimulate religious sentiment, edify."
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