The German sculptor Dannaker worked for two years on a statue of Christ until it looked perfect to him.
He called a little girl into his studio, and pointing to the statue, asked her, “Who is that?”
The little girl promptly replied, “A great man.”
Dannaker was disheartened.
He took his chisel and began anew. For six long years he toiled. Again, he invited a little girl into his workshop, stood her before the figure, and asked, “Who is that?”
She looked up at it for a moment, and then tears welled up in her eyes as she folded her hands across her chest and said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me” (Mark 10:14). This time Dannaker knew he had succeeded.
The sculptor later confessed that during those six years, Christ had revealed Himself to him in a vision, and he had only transferred to marble what he had seen with his inner eyes.
Later, when Napoleon Bonaparte asked him to make a statue of Venus for the Louvre, Dannaker refused.
“A man,” he said, “who had seen Christ can never employ his gifts in carving a pagan goddess. My art is henceforth a consecrated thing.”
The true value of a work comes not from effort, nor its completion, but from Christ who inspires it.