Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary

Jean de Troy 1638-1691
La Conception de la Vierge Marie / The Conception of the Virgin Mary (1675-1679)
Oil on canvas 244 x 157 cm
Musée des Augustins, Toulouse

This is an interesting work from the Musée des Augustins, in Toulouse

The work was commissioned by Gabriel Vendages de Malapeire (died 1702) for his chapel of Notre-Dame du Mont Carmel which was built and decorated between 1671 and 1692 in the Couvent des Grands Carmes in Toulouse

The works in the chapel all had a Marian/Carmelite theme: the Birth of the Virgin; the Annunciation; the Visitation; the Purification; the Presentation at the Temple; the Vision of Elias; the Council of Ephesus

As early as 1273 there was already a Confraternity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Carmelite Tertiaries) in Toulouse

After the death of St. Teresa of Avila, a few Spanish Carmelites came to France in 1604, and established the first Reformed Carmel in Paris. Several foundations were then made from the Carmel of Paris. In 1610, one of the Spanish Carmelites went to Bordeaux, where she founded the seventh Carmel of the Reform in France.

In 1616, the Carmel of Bordeaux founded a Carmel in Toulouse. However at the French Revolution, the convent was abandoned when the Carmelites were expelled. In the year 1789 the Order had eight Provinces and 153 houses in France. The French Revolution of the same year resulted in the extinction of the Carmelite Order in that country.

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