Notre-Dame de Calais
The altarpiece
Commanded by Vicar Jacques de la Boulloye, this altar was raised from 1624 to 1628 by Adam
Lottman, a sculptor from Saint-Omer.
It is 17m in height and 10.50m in width.
It is divided into 3 sections and is made of marble and alabaster.

1st level
On both sides of the richly sculpted tabernacle surrounded by 2 sculpted reliefs representing
biblical scenes : the Hebrew receiving  manna from heaven and the Last Supper.  4 statues
representing the Evangelists appear in recesses.

2nd level
The painting of the Assumption of the Virgin stands in the middle between the statues of
Charlemagne and Saint Louis with columns on both sides.
3rd level
The sculpture of Virgin Mary holding Infant Jesus in her arms, surrounded by angels and
allegorical representations of Faith and Hope pointing to Her.
« The Assumption of the Virgin» by Gérard Seghers
“The Assumption of the Virgin” by Gérard Seghers
(Antwerp 1591-1651).
This painting dates from 1629 and underwent
renovation in 2006.
The theme of the painting is the Virgin, i.e. her
leaving  for heaven 3 days after dying (the word
“dormition” refers to her death likened to sleep),
surrounded by angels, like Christ and coming back
to life.
Gerard Seghers was a famous Flemish artist.
Hendrick Van Balen and Abraham Jansen were
his masters.
He then became master of the St Luke Guild in 1608.
During his stay in Italy from 1611 to 1620, he was
largely under the influence of Caravage’s painting
and his famous chiaroscuro.
Upon returning to Antwerp, he benefited from the
influence or Pierre-Paul Rubens (1577-1640), a
revolutionary artist in great demand at the, who
combined both Italian and Flemish influences, which
contributed to making him unique. Seghers worked
with Rubens on decorations of “the joyful entrance
of the Infant Cardinal”.
Later on he will be appointed  court painter by the Infant Prince Cardinal and subsequently
by the King of Spain.
He was at the head of an important workshop working on large decorative paintings.
This painting is of great value and quality, showing evidence of Rubenian influences through
the shimmering colours , the texture and precise drawing as well as Flemish influences
through the contrast pale greenish and red.