Represented in a reclined position, the allegory of Religion is wearing a dress and a cloak pulled up over he head like a veil. In her outstretched right hand she is holding a chalice, which is an image of Christ’s presence in his Church. To her left there is a closed book sitting under the base of a column, symbolising the Church’s foundation on the Holy Scriptures.
THE SCULPTOR GUILLAUME COUSTOU
The brother of Nicolas Coustou and, like his brother, a student of Coysevox, Guillaume Coustou left for Rome after being awarded the Premier Prix de Sculpture (1697). He returned to Paris before 1703 and was received at the Academy. He was employed by the department of the King’s Buildings at the Invalides, Versailles and Marly (Marly horses which are today in the Louvre). His style is characterised by the strength of expression and, in this regard, Guillaume Coustou was also an excellent portraitist. Most of his work at Versailles concerned the Royal Chapel.