quinta-feira, 21 de maio de 2009


Por: Michael Novick, FRC
The History of the Painting:
The origin of this beautiful painting can be traced back to the 1933 AMORC World Convention held at Rosicrucian Park in San Jose, California. The September 1933 Rosicrucian Digest, contains a detailed report of the Convention, and mentions the painting on page 314 which I quote here...

"Another surprise was the presentation by Frater Ballam, past Master of the Francis Bacon Lodge in San Francisco, of a beautiful painting of the Master Jesus and His Disciples on a canvas approximately sever by ten feet. It was unveiled on the platform before the Convention with appropriate speeches and is to be on permanent exhibition in the Auditorium." At the bottom left of this painting is the artist's signature W. Ballam.

For many years the painting hung in the RCU Building Auditorium and was often used by H. Spencer Lewis as a Temple backdrop for services of his Pristine Church of the Rose Cross. After the church was disbanded the painting was taken out of the RCU Building and put into storage for decades and eventually wound up in AMORC's off-campus warehouse where it sat for a couple of more decades.
In 1989 AMORC had one of it's famous garage sales and most of the contents of the warehouse was sold off to local area members and Park employees, including this painting to a Frater who wishes to remain anonymous. When he purchased it he had to remove the huge canvas from the wooden frame just make it easier to transport in the bed of a pickup truck because this painting is 8 feet by 6 feet in size and a good gust of wind could have taken it up and away like a kite. He later rolled the canvas up and put it into storage where it sat undisturbed for another 15 years.
A few months ago I learned of the existence of this painting and arranged with the owner who graciously agreed to loan it to me for the purposes of restoration, photographing it and documenting it's history.

The Secret Message

At the bottom center of the painting is a secret message printed using the AMORC alphabet a copy of which used to be sent to members of the 1st Temple Degree and is also found in the out of print Rosicrucian Manual. Ah, the good old days. When you decode the message it reads from left to right DEVILHE. Huh?! What? Devil he ? He, Jesus, was a devil? No way! Just remember that the AMORC alphabet is meant to read from right to left and without spaces. Now it reads correctly as HE LIVED. An appropriate caption dealing with the theme of resurrection.The Restoration

The very first rule of antique restoration is simple - The best restoration is the least restoration. This means don't do anything that significantly alters the current condition of the painting unless it's really necessary. In order to do it right I contacted a friend of mine who's a professional antique restoration expert who works as a consultant for several art galleries and museums. The first step was to set the rolled up painting outside in the sunlight to warm up the paint so that it does not crack when the painting is unrolled.

Next step was to borrow an air compressor to blow off all the old surface dust. Then we used a large draftsman's brush to gently brush away any remaining dust on the painting. Fortunately that was all the restoration the painting needed thanks to the fact that it had been safely rolled up for most of it's life. The final step was to photograph and create this web page to present the story of the "Lost Painting".