Faith 1707

©EPV/Didier Saulnier

Allegory 1707

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.

Guillaume Coustou (1677-1746)

Date sculpted

2.92 metres, including plinth

Tonnerre stone

Restoration of the Royal Chapel

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The allegory of Faith is represented in a reclined position wearing a dress with a belt and a gown. Her hair is adorned with a ribbon tied in a bow above her forehead. In her left hand she is holding an open book symbolising the doctrine of the Church.

© EPV/Thomas Garnier

© EPV/Thomas Garnier


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.

Portrait of Guillaume Coustou the Elder

© Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN / © Christophe Fouin

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