The Evangelists.<br />Sketch for the pendentives of the dome in the church of St Francis Xavier

Church of St Francis Xavier, Paris

Religious paintings

In 1868, Delaunay was commissioned to decorate the pendentives of the dome of St Francis Xavier, the new church near the Invalides in Paris.

Other major projects – the Paris Opera, the church of the Holy Trinity – meant he would take seven years to complete the task. In addition the project was modified and instead of the four Evangelists, he was asked, together with Charles Lameire, for a painting of the twelve apostles that would cover the dome in its entirety.

In Delaunay's case this led to endless formal explorations and a host of sketches, for a result which those commissioning the work ultimately found disappointing.

Preliminary study

The Evangelists.
Sketch for the pendentives of the dome in the church of St Francis Xavier
1869
Oil on canvas
35 x 60 cm
Inscribed: Eglise St-Fr.-Xavier Coupole du Transept
S.D.B.R: Elie Delaunay 1869
Delaunay Estate Bequest, 1897
Inv. 2152