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IN the year 1648, Le Sueur, at the age of 31, began, by the desire of the Queen, the mother of Louis the Fourteenth, to paint the history of St. Bruno, founder of the Order of the Chartreux, for the purpose of decorating the cloister of the Monastery at Paris. This he executed in 22 pictures, in the space of three years; and although he has the modesty to call his pictures mere sketches, the series has been reckoned among the best collections of paintings. It passed in the year 1776 into the cabinet of the late King of France.
After the death of Le Sueur, some persons, jealous of the fame of this great painter, having had the meanness to damage these chef d'oeuvres, much care was bestowed to restore them to their former state. They were originally painted upon wood, then placed upon canvas, and afterwards retouched; but this latter task was committed to unskilful hands. They have since, by an order of the Senate, been restored with the utmost precision.
The Chartreux compelled Le Sueur to begin the life of St. Bruno, with an anecdote, to which, for a long time the conversion of the Saint was attributed; but this story Pope Urban VIII. caused to be suppressed as fabulous.