The paintings

The Abbés Desjardins Collection

On the right side of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, you can admire two paintings from the prestigious collection Desjardins.


What is it?

Almost 200 paintings were seized in the churches of Paris during the French Revolution, between 1789 and 1799. These paintings were from big names in French painting, such as Claude Vignon, Simon and Aubin Vouet, Brother Luc, and many others. Most of these artists were known as painters for the French Royal Court.

Several of these paintings were then transferred to Quebec following the approaches of abbots Philippe-Jean-Louis Desjardins and Louis-Joseph Desjardins.

Some of these works arrived in Quebec in 1817. Some 60 others arrived in 1820.

Most of the paintings completed their journey at the Augustines. Many of them were restored over time.


The Desjardins Abbots

Portraits of abbots Philippe-Jean-Louis on the left, and Louis-Joseph Desjardins (Wikidata, Public Domain).

The Desjardins brothers were both born in France.

The eldest, Philippe, arrived in Quebec in 1793, and his younger brother, Louis-Joseph, arrived the following year.

In 1802, Philippe returned to France and realized that his family's financial situation was in bad shape. He decided to sell paintings to Lower Canada and gave his family the money. Several parishes and many religious communities acquired them.


The Elevation of the Cross

Among the works of great European painters having been moved to Quebec, you can find this painting, The Elevation of the Cross, by Pierre Paul Rubens (1577-1640). Acquired in 1817, this painting was restored in 1834, then in 1851.


La Montée au Calvaire

La Montée au Calvaire was originally an engraving from French artist Bénézit Huret. The original work was reproduced, enlarged, and then restored. It is the painting No. 74 of the Desjardins Collection, acquired by the Fabrique Notre-Dame de Québec to service Notre-Dame-des-Victoires.

François Baillairgé restored the painting to its 7 feet X 6 feet format, probably in 1817. It was then restored three times: in 1837 and 1854 (by Joseph Légaré), then in 1888, on the church’s bicentennial.

On the Left Wall

Another precious work on the left wall is the L'Annonciation by Louis-Augustin Wolff (1753-1840), a painter of German descent who came to Quebec with the British army. Painting was done in 1765-1766 after an engraving by French painter Le Moyne (1688-1737).

The three paintings were restored thanks to the Conseil du Patrimoine religieux du Québec and Nostre Dame de Kebec Heritage Foundation.

Extract of
Notre-Dame-des-Victoires - The Oldest Church in Quebec

Notre-Dame-des-Victoires - The Oldest Church in Quebec image circuit

Presented by : Paroisse Notre-Dame de Québec
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