Apostle
1st Century

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
Jean-Louis Lemoyne (1665-1755)

Date sculpted
1707

Height
2.76 metres, including plinthe

Material 
Tonnerre stone

Restoration of the Royal Chapel

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Saint Simon

The apostle saint Simon has been sculpted later on in life with a balding head and a long beard. Dressed in a tunic and a cloak, he is looking at the book he is holding in his left hand while his right hand is resting on a woodcutter’s saw, which was the instrument of his martyrdom.

Also named “the Zealot” because he belonged to the Jewish sect of the same name, Saint Simon is believed to have evangelised Persia with the apostle Saint Thaddeus. They were put to death at the same time after overturning idols after a discussion with pagan priests. According to certain accounts, Saint Simon was cut into pieces with a saw like the prophet Isaiah.

the sculptor Jean-Louis Lemoyne

A student of Coysevox, he was received at the Academy with a majestic bust representing Jules-Hardouin Mansart (today in the Louvre). He worked for Versailles, sculpted a Company of Diana for Marly and, for the king, created his masterpiece: La Crainte des Traits de l’Amour (Metropolitan Museum) which has an elegant and delicate style.

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