Saint Thaddeus or Jude

Saint Thaddeus or Jude 1st Century

©EPV/Didier Saulnier

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.

Jean-Louis Lemoyne (1665-1755)

Date sculpted 

2.76 metres, including plinthe

Tonnerre stone

Restoration of the Royal Chapel

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Saint Thaddeus or Jude 

The apostle Jude, or Saint Thaddeus, is represented with ageing features and is wrapped in a cloak fastened around the waist by a belt. He is holding a closed book in his left hand, while his right arm is stretched out as though resting on an item that is no longer in place, most likely the instrument of his martyrdom: a bludgeon, sword, axe or club.

The different Christian traditions do not always agree on the identity of Saint Thaddeus, who is also called Jude. Believed by some to be the brother of the apostle Simon, or even a relation of Jesus by others, Saint Thaddeus is considered to have evangelised Persia after the Ascension. He was killed alongside Simon for offending idols and was executed using a club.

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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