Man turns house into work of art

March 17, 2008 9:48:29 PM PDT
A Houston man has created a modern day Taj Mahal as a tribute to the love of his life. It is spectacular and inspirational, but at its heart, it is a story of love and salvation.

Houstonian Anthony Walter found inspiration from around the world from places like The Vatican, St. Paul's, Versailles and The Prado in Spain.

And then re-created those masterpieces in the grand hall of his Houston home: eight paintings, 24 and a half by sixteen feet, surrounded by decorative art frames, under a fantastic guilded laquered ceiling. And he did all of it himself.

But the truly mind-blowing part is that Anthony Walter is an orthopedic surgeon. Ten years ago, he says he couldn't draw a straight line until fate intervened. The doctor was diagnosed with Hepatitis B and given a very poor prognosis.

"I'm 6'2", I weighed 140 pounds, less than what I did in junior high school," he said. "I had to be on extreme high doses of Interferon, which will cause you to be monumentally depressed and suicidal."

To combat that depression, Walter not only taught himself to draw and paint, but also, "compositry, guilding, hand carving, jewelry work, inlay."

Less than 10 years later, he is on painting number eight, with more work to be done. The decorate frames can take even longer than the paintings. After teaching himself to set 48,000 crystals, and inlay ebony, Walter is pouring polyurethane into ornate molds, a process he invented himself.

Though themes of Christianity are the most obvious, all this work is truly about love for his wife, Susan.

"I don't feel she's just my spouse, she's my lady, my love, my wife, my best friend, and my soul mate," he said. "Each one has a painting and decorate frame to fully describe that."

So what does Susan think of her husband's passion?

"I am going to start crying," she told us. "I get a little shy and emotional when he starts talking about how much he loves me, and to hear other people talk about how much they care, it's just so incredible."

And with his personal fortune invested, the doctor says this is his calling.

"What it costs, how much time it takes, how much blood you bleed, it doesn't matter, that's the calling," Walter said. "You follow the calling."

The goal is to open the home to the faithful like Father Norbert Maduzia.

"It's a collection of places from all over the world brought to one spot," said Father Maduzia. "It's amazing, it really is amazing."

"The ultimate goal is for people to understand the gospel, the second goal is for them to actually live the gospel," Walter said.

All inspired by one man's love for his wife. If you would like to tour the house, email Dr. Walter here.

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