Father of the Greek Church
376/380 - 444

The decision to have monumental sculpted decoration on the balustrade and the pediment of the Royal Chapel was taken in around 1705. The carefully chosen subject matter of the decoration mixes allegory with great figures of Christianity. The four evangelists rub shoulders with the twelve apostles, the four Fathers of the Latin Church, the four Fathers of the Greek Church and six allegories of Christian virtue.

Sculptor
Simon Hurtrelle (1648-1724)

Date sculpted
1707

Height
2.92 metres, including plinthe 

Material
Tonerre stone

Restoration of the Royal Chapel

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Saint Cyril

His face marked by old age, Saint Cyril of Alexandria bears a long beard and short hair. His status as a bishop is shown by his clothing: tunic, chasuble and a stole draped over his shoulder in the manner of the eastern church. He is holding out a closed book in his left hand and a quill (parts missing) in his right. A father of the Greek Church, Saint Cyril was born between 376 and 380 and became a clerk after studying classics and theology. He was elected bishop of Alexandria in 412 and turned out to be a strict prelate who strongly opposed Judaism, paganism and heresies. From 428 onwards, he took a stance against the bishop of Constantinople, Nestorius, who refused to attribute the name “Theotokos” (“mother of God”) the Virgin. He died in 444.

Saint Cyril - detail

© EPV/Thomas Garnier

the sculptor Simon Hurtrelle

He was sent to Rome in 1676 where he was remarked as being one of the best pupils. He worked at Marly after returning to France in 1682 and entered the Academy in 1690. At Versailles, apart from the Chapel, he made the statues of Theophrastus and Pan playing the flute on Latona's Parterre and, in the palace, some of the sculptures that decorate the Oeil-de-Boeuf Room.

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