The Lunette project is an architectural adornment in the Church of Saint Thomas More in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
It is an oil painting on canvas which will be installed in the lunette above a stained glass window over the shrine to St. Thomas More.
It is based on a portrait of Saint Thomas More’s family which was originally painted by Hans Holbein the Younger around 1527. The composition shows various members of Sir Thomas More’s family gathered for prayer.
The painting was completed for Sir Thomas More. However the original painting was destroyed by fire. We do have a preparatory sketch by Hans Holbein as well as reproductions of the work done by other artists. This project is based on the original sketch as well as a reproduction by Rowland Lockey.
The following picture shows the lunette above the statue of Saint Thomas More.
The drawing below illustrates the completed shrine. Besides the large painting, the last line of the prayer of St. Thomas More, “Oh Lord, grant us the grace to work for the things we pray for,” will be inscribed in the stone behind the statue.
Under the votive candles will be a wood wainscot constructed from the old communion rail from the basement church.
The oil painting will be approximately 10 feet wide by 6 feet tall and consists of 10 figures, 2 dogs and a monkey.
Next are some notes about the composition.