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Eustache Le Sueur: 'Saint Paul preaching at Ephesus'

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During Saint Paul's mission to Ephesus (in modern Turkey), he succeeded in converting many of the city's inhabitants to Christianity, and some who had previously 'used curious arts' publicly burnt their books and manuscripts. New Testament (Acts 19: 18-20). Saint Paul stands in the centre, while the other disciples on the platform give thanks, dispense alms, hear confession and bless the converts.

This picture is possibly Le Sueur's preliminary sketch for his large-scale picture of the same subject in Notre-Dame, Paris. It was a so-called 'May' painting in 1649, a votive picture given annually (1630 - 1707) to the cathedral by the Paris goldsmiths.

Judging from a photograph, an apparently identical sketch (Algiers, Musée National des Beaux-Arts) may be a copy of this picture by another hand.

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