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Manhattanville College

New York, NY

Altarpiece for side chapel

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, 1934

Commissioned by: Maginnis & WalshMedium: oil and gold leaf on wood panelExecuted by: Hildreth MeièreRelocated to: Society of the Sacred Heart Archives

On left: portrait of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat in its original setting  at 133rd and Convent Avenue, New York

On left: portrait of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat in its original setting at 133rd and Convent Avenue, New York

In 1934 Maginnis & Walsh commissioned Hildreth Meière to paint a portrait of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865) as the altarpiece for a side chapel at Manhattanville College. Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat was the founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1801, dedicated to teaching girls.1

Side chapel with portrait of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat at 133rd and Convent Avenue, New York

Side chapel with portrait of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat at 133rd and Convent Avenue, New York

The Academy of the Sacred Heart, located at 133rd Street and Convent Avenue in a neighborhood known as Manhattanville, offered a six-year high school program from which Meière graduated in 1911. In 1917 the Academy of the Sacred Heart was accredited as a college and changed its name to Manhattanville. Meière’s commission in 1934 was to decorate a chapel for Manhattanville College at its original New York site. When the college moved to its present-day campus in Purchase, New York in 1952, the school took Meière’s portrait of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat to the new location.

Portrait of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat

Portrait of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat

Shortly before 1974, the portrait was moved once again to the newly established Provincial Archives of the Sacred Heart at Villa Duchesne Academy in St. Louis, Missouri. In 2002 when the Archives moved to its present location, also in St. Louis, the portrait was moved as well. Meière’s portrait of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat currently hangs in the entrance to the Archives.

1

See Madeleine Sophie Barat/Network of Sacred Heart Schools.

Commission Location

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Society of the Sacred Heart Archives
4537 West Pine Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

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