Jean-Christophe Ballot is one of the best architectural and museum photographers In France today.

His latest series of photographs, (Les Dormeurs de Saint Denis), of the celebrated French (royal tombs) in the basilica of the abbey of Saint Denis, north of Paris, will be exhibited in an exceptional setting, the 17th century church of the Billettes in the heart to the Marais in Paris.

The series was commissioned by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux and photographed in the spring of 2014.

One of the finest Baroque churches in Paris to survive the French Revolution the church of the convent of the Billettes on rue des Archives was designed in the mid- 18th century by the last of the celebrated Mansart family of architects, Jacques Hardouin-Mansart de Sagonne (1711-1778).

Today the church it is the principal Lutheran temple of city of Paris.

The black and white photographs of the gisants (recumbent effigies) and orants (praying figures) of the Kings and Queens of France will be presented in two triptych compositions in the choir of the church, as single large prints on the pilasters of the nave and in smaller formats in the south gallery of the church.

The statues were photographed so as to look like live figures, contemplative when kneeling or asleep when recumbent. In the twilight of the beautiful Gothic architecture of the basilica of Saint Denis they take on an otherworldly, dreamy dimension, delicately balanced between the inanimate quality of stone and bronze and the animating quality conferred on them by the shadowy light. The classical architectural setting of the church of the Bilettes and the filtered daylight and shadows of the church provide the perfect background for the contemplation of Jean-Christophe Ballot’s photographs emphasizing their mysterious and spiritual quality.

The exhibition sponsored by the Lutheran Temple of the Billettes and Chris Boïcos Fine Arts will be open to the public Tuesday though Saturday from Wednesday 11 to Saturday 28 March from 2 to 7 pm at 24 rue des Archives, 75004 Paris (Métro Hôtel- de-Ville).

For more information and to see all the photographs please visit the exhibtion page of our website.

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