22 Nov

I met Michel Rouge, who worked at Saint Sulpice. We were discussing an assertion made by Cherisey in CIRCUIT that the Delacroix window in the Chapel of the Angels had carried a depiction of an angel holding a blue apple in front of Adam and Eve. Cherisey said this window had been removed in around 1900. Below is part of the article and Michel Rouges' comments.

Apart from the other mysterious comment [there seems to be a mis-understanding about the existence of lack of it [a design] at the centre of various windows ...] as some have noted HERE, there was a window changed in Saint Sulpice around this time. I double checked the entries in the articles cited  - and it is correct! 

What i find fascinating is how Cherisey even 'knew' the window had been changed! The articles themselves are buried in a tiny place in short paged newspapers  - which were published every day of the year over 100 years before Cherisey was writing CIRCUIT! 

How would he have ever found them? I only found them from his reference! Presumably he was also working from a reference? 

Anyway - here are the entries: firstly from "le mardi 27 juin 1899 dans le journal Le Matin" [image from the BnF],

Roughly translated: A man who had a bad téveli, yesterday morning, in the chapel of the church of Saint-Sulpice,

Following his habit, the official ecelesiastic, barely out of bed, felt disposed to pass the inspection trunks placed under his supervision. O surprise! He found the first collection box completely empty of any contributions for the souls in Purgatory -- complete empty of any offerings. He almost passed out, but he was not at the end of his ordeal.  The following collection box was also smashed - the violated souls - also fractured; then the dismal findings continued by the following  collection box, reserved for the Rescue of abandoned childhoods.  The burglars didn't even respect the collection boxes of Saint Peter or that of the  Virgin.

As for the colletion box containing the offerings, for the construction of the Church of the Sacred Heart, it was literally in crumbs. The priest immediately complained about it to Mr. Volet,  who was able to establish that the burglar had penetrated through the scaffolding which currently stands in front of the right tower, and that they had broken a stained-glass window to break into the church. But what will become of the "Souls of the Purguetory", if there is no more money in Saint-Sulpice to get them out of it?"

The second entry is in an edition La Croix le 29 juin 1899 [images from BnF].

- Flights saerildges, - In the sunday night to Monday, criminals have forced [broke?] the collection boxes of the Saint-Sulpice Church. They penetrated in the church via the scaffolding - which currently stands in front of the right tower, breaking a stained glass window. 

As noted the following point is raised. This is that:

"A detail must attract our attention: the thieves entered by breaking a window. ..... both articles report the same decisive precision, that the villains accessed the window from scaffolding erected in front of the right tower'. It is useful to remind the reader that immediately after the right tower, the south tower .... of the church plan of Saint-Sulpice, is the chapel of the Holy Angels ... it is therefore quite possible that the window through which the thieves accessed the church opened up into the chapel of the Angels and there they found the paintings of Delacroix."

Along with the comment that Michel Rouge gave me -  [there seems to be a mis-understanding about the existence of lack of it [a design] at the centre of various windows ...] - was Cherisey being truthful or bending this information to fit his plan?  As the smashed window in this instance was due to burglars wanting to steal money, and not to scupper any mysterious blue apple effect - and that the year for the windows removal was 1900 and 'it was replaced'. It seems strange that Monsieur Rouge did not know the glass was broken by burglars in 1899. 

Edited to add [from HERE]. 

I note that Delacroix did intend to paint the theme of Adam & Eve expelled from Heaven. This information came to light in 1997! 

"Accession Number 1997/1.67
Title Expulsion of Adam and Eve
Artist(s) Eugène Delacroix
Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)
Object Creation Date circa 1850
Medium & Support
graphite on medium, slightly textured blued white laid paper
12 3/16 in x 7 13/16 in (30.96 cm x 19.84 cm);19 3/8 in x 14 1/2 in (49.21 cm x 36.83 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of the Lannan Foundation in Honor of the Pelham Family

"In 1849, Eugène Delacroix was commissioned to execute wall paintings for one of the nineteen chapels of the Church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris. The chapel was initially intended to be dedicated to the baptismal fonts. When, after three months of preparation, he learned that the theme had to be changed, Delacroix wrote, in a letter dated January 22, 1850, that "the just anger I felt left me stupefied." In its final form, the chapel celebrated the Holy Angels, but our drawing representing the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise belongs to the initial theme.

In the present drawing, Adam and Eve, pursued by the angel, move forward together, hunched in shame and covering their genitalia. While Adam bows his head, Eve looks back perhaps attempting to appeal the terrible sentence. A sheet from the Louvre indicates the avenging angel on the left and may clarify the right-hand figure barely indicated in the Michigan drawings as an angel wielding a scythe.

Of the two similar drawings we know (the one at the Louvre and one at the Musée de Picardie, Amiens), neither has the inscriptions which are in the upper part of our drawing. Here Delacroix indicated architectural and landscape elements for the painting.

The composition of the drawing is based on that by the Italian painter, Cesare Cesari, known as Cavaliere d’Arpino, whose canvas was in the collection of the Louvre. In his version, Delacroix exchanged the two figures, bringing Eve closer to the threatening angel

Primary Object Classification
Collection Area

We can see from the letter notes above and the sketches below - that Delacroix did indeed intend to paint Adam & Eve expelled from Eden/Heaven carrying an apple. You can quote clearly see this depicted with the letter A in the angels hand, looking remarkably similar to an apple. Would it have been blue? 

Other representations of the theme by Delacroix did not carry the specifics that Delacroix wanted to depict for the Chapel of the Angels at Saint Sulpice. Here is one below:

Indeed, one may ask how Cherisey knew this information which only seems to have come to light in 1997 via a private collection. It came from the Pelham family, who appear to be the Pelham family - an English aristocratic family headed by the Earl of Chichester.

It would be interesting to know where the Delacroix angel painting would have been placed, before the commissioner changed the plans, perhaps the ceiling of the Chapel of the Angels? Or if Rouge is right - maybe in place of the Heliodorus painting .... one would need the light from the stained glass window for a blue apples effect? Non? This makes sense as the painting now in place is called "The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple" - so both involved an expulsion! 

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