This picture is held on good authority to be an original "vandyck." . . . The subject of the picture is very interesting. Duke William was a man of violent passions and ungovernable temper; he had driven the Bishops of Poitiers and Limoges from their sees, and in other ways had persecuted the church. The great Abbot of Clairvaux was about this time at the highest point of his fame as an orator. . . . Bernard resolved to use a last and extraordinary effort for the conversion of the Duke. The Abbot went to the monastic church of Poitou to celebrate mass, the Duke and his men-at-arms remaining at the door of the church as excommunicated persons; after the consecration the Abbot took the Host on a paten, and surrounded by the ministers of the mass went to the door of the church and there spoke to the Duke with so much energy and zeal about the irregularities of his life that he fell into a swoon. He was converted and began a better life, . . . The painting is worthy of the pencil of vandyck. One can see in the face of the Abbot the delineation of the zeal that filled his soul. The Bishop of Poitiers, who stands beside the Saint, bears on his countenance the marks of anxiety and waiting. The rest of the figures have an expression of awe at the strange scene enacted before them. The whole execution shows the work of a master hand. . . . [P. 11.]
Louisville Industrial Exposition. Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. With a Classification of the Natural History Department. Louisville: Published by John P. Morton and Company. 1873.