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François-Xavier Dézéry Latour, Saint-Sulpice Priest




François-Xavier Dézéry Latour, Saint-Sulpice Priest


About 1790


Oil on canvas


80.8 x 64.7 cm


Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 2006.93


Quebec and Canadian Art

After the British Conquest, the Sulpicians of Montreal could no longer recruit members in France, and so the last Frenchmen still active had to take in Canadian colleagues. François-Xavier Dézéry was the first Canadian member of the order to act as vicar of Notre-Dame Church, a position he held from 1776 until his death in 1793. This portrait clearly conveys the priest’s austere character, coinciding with his description in documents of the period. Dézéry officiated at the marriage of the painter Louis Dulongpré in Notre-Dame in 1787. But from the pulpit, he later denounced the performances at the Théâtre de société, of which Dulongpré was a founder. The cleric furthermore refused the sacraments to anyone who attended them.

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