Splendeur du Baroque

The chapels of the nave and transept

Eight lateral chapels line the nave from east to west.

They were transformed between 1823 and 1879 under the direction of architects Tony Desjardins and Sainte-Marie Perrin; in each case the window was closed, the altar placed against the exterior wall, and the decoration redone with stucco and gold based on the model created for the chapel of the Virgin.

Although these chapels date from the 19th century, have reached us in very poor condition and notwithstanding some very conventional plastering, they present considerable interest. They house some very high quality sculptures such as the statues of Saint-Bruno, the lying Christ, the Virgin and paintings such as the Baptism of Christ, the quieted storm, the wedding of the Virgin, the entombment.

 


Chapel of the Virgin

St Bruno's chapel

St-François-Régis' chapel

St Peter's chapel

Chapel of Fonts

Chapel of Sacred Heart

St-Philomene's chapel

Home Chapel

St Irénée's chapel

St Joseph's chapel

Photos Philippe Dumont

 


Chapel of the Virgin

 

It is the first of the side chapels which were restored in the 19th century by Tony Desjardins who decorated it in 1863 whth white and gold stucco. This Chapel will serve as a model for the organisation of the adjoining chapels.

The altar in marble of Genoa was made in 1735.

The alabaster statue of the Virgin is the work of the Lyon-born sculptor Joseph-Hugues Fabisch . Two other more monumental works of Fabish in each of the chapels built behind the arms of the transept: Saint-Irénée (1880), in the chapel on the right and Saint-Joseph (1884), in the chapel on the left.

 

Photo Philippe Dumont

 


Saint-Bruno's chapel

 

The decoration of the chapel is designed symetrically to that of the chapel of the Virgin which faces it.

The marble altar, in the shape of a tomb, dates from the 18th century.

The marble statue of "Saint Bruno in prayer" of the XVIIth century is attributed to Jacques Sarrazin. It rivals in expression with the Bruno statue in the transept.

 

Photo Philippe Dumont

 


Saint-François-Régis's chapel

 

« The entombment of Christ », a painting by Nicolas-Guy Brenet dated 1763, is a characteristic example of the very legible, clear and monumental style of the Master.

In the background, the three crosses of Golgotha, in a grotto, the tomb ready to receive the dead Christ, already placed on the shroud. Behind the women of Galilea and on the right the imposing figure of Joseph of Arimathia.

Brenet uses face of the Christ as a pretext for serious anatomic study, without any doubt executed according to a model. The deathly whiteness of the corpse is in glaring contrast with the great coat of bright powerful red of Joseph.

 

Photo Philippe Dumont

 


Saint Peter's chapel

 

The painting entitled« The Ascension of Saint Peter » is by an anonymous painter of the 19th century.

The Saint holds the keys in his right hand. He stands out against a big sky in the foreground. Below, the skyline of Lyon, dominated by Saint-Bruno’s dome.

This painting is a partial copy of the Ascension by Perugino (a.1448 – 1523) painted in 1496 for Church San Pietro of Perugia and since 1811 in the Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon. The painter has only kept the 6th character at the bottom on the left representing Saint Peter, a witness of Christ’s Ascension.

 

Photo Philippe Dumont

 


Chapel of the Fonts

 

The chapel was completely transformed at the end of the 19th century, when it was chosen to house the Hallé painting which used to hang at the very back of the choir.

From both sides, large panels of fake marble, marked with the initials of Jesus Christ IHS, are in harmony with the Font and the balustrade.

The painting entitled “Baptism of Christ” by Noël Hallé was painted around 1746. The very elongated shapes, the very similar faces of the Christ and the Baptist, the brisk strokes, the very clear colours are characteristic of the style of this painter.

 

Photo Philippe Dumont

 


Chapel of the Sacred Heart

Two wonderful elements of this chapel are relate to Christ’s Passion and Death :
- First, the reclining figure at the bottom of the altar “Christ lying in a shroud”, sculptured by Rodolphe Galli in 1862. The delicacy of the sculpture gives to Dead Christ an impression of serenity. (photo Pierre Clavel, CRDP Lyon)
- Second, the painting « The apparition of Sacred Heart to Marguerite-Marie Alacoque » painted by Benoit-Antoine Sublet during the second half of the 19th century.
This work is typical of the renewal of the catholic painting of this period. As she prays before the altar, Sainte Marguerite-Marie of Paray-le-Monial, beatified in 1864 and canonized in 1920, sees the Christ with his five wounds, emphasizing the indifference of humanity and asking her to the devotion to his heart “which has so dearly loved all marking”.

Please notice as well the frame in gold of the painted plaster surrounding the altar and recalling the instruments of the Passion and the snake (situated to the bottom left, symbol of Evil, defeated by Christ’s sacrifice (represented at the top by Sacred Heart).

 

 

The painting “The apparition of the Sacred Heart to Marguerite-Marie Alacoque” painted by Benoit-Antoine Sublet during the second half of the 19th century. This work is typical of the renewal of the catholic painting of this period. As she prays before the altar, Sainte Marguerite-Marie of Paray-le-Monial, beatified in 1864 and canonized in 1920, sees the Christ with his five wounds, emphasizing the indifference of humanity and asking her to the devotion to his heart “which has so dearly loved all marking”.

 

Photos Pierre Clavel, CRDP Lyon

 


Sainte Philomène's Chapel

 

The Chapel received its name in 1845. A shield coat of arms sculptured on the front of the altar shows the instruments of the martyrdom of the Saint.

The painting is entitled “The pacified storm” or “ The miracle of the dome”. It was painted by Nicolas-Guy Brenet in 1760 during a stay in Lyon, returning from Rome.

A religious Cartusian monk implores Saint Anthelme: after a storm which destroyed the roof of the dome, the beams are miraculously reset in place. At the top, the Trinity and, from right to left, Saint Bruno, the Virgin and Saint John the Baptist.

 

Photo Philippe Dumont

 


Home chapel

(formely chapel of the Chairs)

 

This chapel, located to the right of the entrance, was formerly dedicated to the storage of chairs used in the nave.

Of noteworthy artistic interest is the painting “The wedding of the Virgin” by Michel-Ange Challe, painted in 1752.

The Virgin and Joseph who holds the stick decorated with flowers, are kneeling in the foreground, united in wedlock by the high priest (look at the three tied hands in the centre). In the background, notice the temple.

One appreciates the compact and dynamic qualities of the composition, and the strong focus on the characters. Restoration of the painting would resurrect the bright colours which have been lost through the affects of time and the smoke of candlesticks.

 

Photo Philippe Dumont

 


Saint Irenee's Chapel

 

This chapel decorated in 1880 is named after the statue on display, a work of Fabisch’s son.

It also shelters a painting of the “Adoration of the Magi” dated 1848 by Chloé du Pasquier according to Rubens. First shown at the Salon de Lyon in 1848, it is a faithful, slightly smaller copy of the masterpiece of Rubens, painted around 1618, and kept in the Museum of the Beaux-Arts in Lyon.

 

Photo Philippe Dumont

 


Saint Joseph's chapel

 

The chapel of the right transept, decorated with ancient, is dedicated to "St. Joseph, patron of the Church" which is rare. The statue of Fabisch son in 1880 on the north wall hangs the picture of Louise Brondel "St. Joseph with the Child".

 

Photo Philippe Dumont