Restoration of the baldachin of the cathedral of Luçon

Dépose du baldaquin de Luçon par les Ateliers de la Chapelle

A few days ago, our teams began the restoration of the baldachin of the cathedral of Luçon with a very delicate operation: the removal of the canopy.


Baldaquin de Luçon #Ateliersdelachapelle


The high altar and its baldachin were commissioned from the sculptor Sébastien Leysner around 1770 and are a masterpiece of the 18th century and the highlight of the cathedral’s liturgical fittings.

This baroque monument of nearly 15m high is intended to stage the tabernacle symbol of the miracle of transubstantiation. At the border between architecture and decoration, it combines the techniques of marble, gypsum and wood.






Our interventions concern the horseshoe-shaped entablatures and the canopy, which show significant signs of instability. These disorders directly concern the wood support: weakened assemblies, alteration by xylophagous insects, disorganized gluing, gaps… but also the structure of the work itself whose movements are worrying.


Baldaquin de Luçon -le dôme #Ateliersdelachapelle    Baldaquin de Luçon détail du dôme #Ateliersdelachapelle Baldaquin de Luçon - les volutes #Ateliersdelachapelle    Baldaquin de Luçon l'entablement #Ateliersdelachapelle

In order to allow a thorough restoration of these disorders, the volutes, the dome and the cruciferous globe had to be removed. This was a delicate operation for these works, each weighing several hundred kilos and placed almost in balance on the weakened entablatures.

Initially, all the decorations (garlands, fire pots …) were removed as well as the unstable stone boxes covering the dome. Then, after removal of the top globe the dome could be detached from the volutes and placed on an easel.


Baldaquin de Luçon dépose#Ateliersdelachapelle   Baldaquin de Luçon dépose#Ateliersdelachapelle   Baldaquin de Luçon #Ateliersdelachapelle

Finally, the heavy carved volutes rose into the air before quietly (but not without stress for our companions) reaching the floor of the cathedral and soon, our workshops.


Baldaquin de Luçon #Ateliersdelachapelle    Baldaquin de Luçon #Ateliersdelachapelle Baldaquin de Luçon #Ateliersdelachapelle    Baldaquin de Luçon #Ateliersdelachapelle


Thanks to our co-contractors Arthema Restoration and Robert & Robert Forge for their precious assistance to these operations and to Djeff-op for the pictures.