The passion of Christ – Late medieval wall paintings in Orleans cathedral

Published on 19 December 2017 - Updated 26 October 2018

The painted decoration of the sacristy of Sainte-Croix of Orléans, long hidden behind the furniture installed in the 19th century, is one of the rare vestiges of the Gothic cathedral that has come down to us.

Its discovery, in 1998, helped bring about a change in the public perception of buildings in which monumentality and sharp edges prevail. The study of the iconographic elements and the stages of the restoration of these outstanding wall paintings are entirely apt subjects for a new edition of the “patrimoine restauré” (“restored heritage”) series of the “patrimoines en région Centre-Val de Loire” (“Centre-Val de Loire region cultural heritage”) collection published by the Centre-Val de Loire Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs (DRAC). 

The detailed analysis of the four scenes illustrating the Passion of the Christ reveals the extremely high quality of these paintings, with a remarkable precision of detail and execution. It has provided a unique insight into the painted décor, previously unknown, of the Gothic cathedral. 

Bearing witness to the Wars of Religion, saved from a partial degradation by Monseigneur Dupanloup who halted plans to put a door in the sacristy… here they are now carefully restored. 

On the web:



Collection ou revue

  • Collection : "Patrimoines en région Centre" - Patrimoine protégé n°26
  • 2017