Saint Francis Xavier

Canning was responsible for restoring the very fine trompe l’oiel work on the walls and ceilings, as well as repairing delaminating plaster.

BUILDING FACTS

Location: Parkersburg, WV
Built: 1870
Original Architects: Patrick Keely and fine art by Daniel Muller
Style: Gothic Revival

SCOPE

This extraordinary church interior has been identified by the West Virginia Department of Culture and History as having “the most significant ecclesiastical art” in the state. After a partial collapse of a side aisle ceiling, a major restoration was undertaken by a team of conservators.  Canning was responsible for restoring the very fine trompe l’oiel work on the walls and ceilings, as well as repairing delaminating  plaster.

This barrel vaulted ceiling appears to be an elaborate poly-chromed coffered ceiling. It is in-fact painted to simulate architectural mouldings, in other words, trompe l’oiel painting. There are no three dimensional mouldings, cornices, or recessed coffers, it is an elaborate illusionary painted compositions.

On the sanctuary walls and side altars are Daniel Muller’s grisaille paintings. All of this work, both trompe l’oiel and grisaille paintings, are executed in secco fresco or distempered paints which were in need of much repair.