The church of Santa Isabel of Lisbon was completed in 1755, ten years after the devastating earthquake that destroyed more then half the city. At the time, there was no money to paint the vaulted ceiling. That's why the artist Michael Biberstein had decided to finally give Santa Isabel a sky. Biberstein actively worked on this project until he passed away. After the artist's sudden death, all the persons involved in the project agreed that the ceiling was to be completed following the original painting of the church's architectural model.
A team from Factum Arte (Jordi Garcia Pons, Luke Caulfield, Andrés Sánchez Ocaña and Graziela Salvatori) were working in Lisbon on the restoration of the ceiling.
This project was part of the restoration of the Church of Santa Isabel which won the Vilalva Award in September 2020. Learn more on the award here.
Scaffolding set up inside the Santa Isabel Church, Lisbon - restoration works almost ready to commence
The Santa Isabel Church ceiling evened out and painted in white. A blank canvas for the Factum Arte team to work on
Jordi Pons from Factum Arte spray painting the ceiling - works about half way through completion
Two months into the work carried out by the Factum Arte team and the ceiling is almost ready - finishing touches to be made
Andrés Sanchéz Ocaña, one of the members of the Factum Arte team, taking a break
Rafa Rachewsky from Factum Arte overseeing the team & making sure everything is running smoothly
Rays of sunshine, smooth clouds and deep skies can no be seen on the ceiling of the Santa Isabel Church
Some of the team members involved in the development of this inspiring project
Completed work on the day of the inauguration
The Church ceiling created by Michael Biberstein for the San Isabel Church was officially inaugurated by the Cardinal Patriarch D. Manuel José Macario do Nascimento Clemente on Tuesday 19 July followed by a Solemn Mass.
As was Michael Biberstein, in the continuous quest of his work turned towards the Sublime, we have been able to live, along with all protagonist at the creation of Mike's Sky for the Santa Isabel Church, a wonderful human adventure where the energy, generosity and professionalism of each as well as the trust from sponsors have allowed to make this projects possible. Rare are the artists that are, posthumously, capable of making their vision accomplished by the pure presence of their spirit.