Notre-Dame-des-Missions-du-cygne d'Enghien (sometimes referred to as Notre-Dame-des-Missions d'Épinay-sur-Seine) is a French Roman Catholic church located in the commune of Épinay-sur-Seine, near Paris and in the Seine-Saint-Denis department. Designed by Paul Tournon, decorated by many major artists of the day, and consecrated in 1932, the church is considered one of the most significant examples of modern ecclesiastical design in France.
The construction of the church was an outgrowth of an exhibit which had been put together for a 1931 colonial exhibition in the Bois de Vincennes. The vault of the structure was constructed as a chapel for Catholic missions expressly for the exhibit, and was dismantled at its end; it was then reconstructed using more durable materials in 1933 in Épinay-sur-Seine; funds for the building's construction were raised through a national subscription spearheaded by Marshal Hubert Lyautey. The church received its unusual double name from its origins and from the site of its construction; as the colonial exhibition was designed to glorify the evangelization of French colonies by missionaries, it was decided to dedicate the structure to Our Lady of the Missions. The rest of the name refers to the northwestern district of Épinay-sur-Seine, the so-called "Swan of Enghien", in which the church was built. The land upon which it sits was donated by Firmin-Dodot.
Many painters, sculptors and glassworkers participated in the decoration of the inside of the church; most of these artists came from the studios of sacred art founded by Maurice Denis, who had designed the windows for the nearby Notre-Dame du Raincy, and of Georges Desvallières. It was important that as a group the artists achieved unity of style, and the results of their collaboration comprise one of the most outstanding examples of French ecclesiastical decoration of the 1930s. Louis Barillet and his studio realized the design of some of the stained glass windows, which depict important figures in the history of evangelization. These are grouped around a figure of Christ as Missionary designed by Jean Hébert-Stevens. Among the other notable artists to work on the stained glass in the church were André Rinuy, Marguerite Huré, and Pauline Peugniez.
Important painters were engaged to create the frescos for the church. Chief among these was Henri de Maistre, who illustrated the Christianization of the world after the Resurrection in a series of paintings crafted for the building's side chapels. He chose to depict various French martyrs in his design, placing them against a map showing the great lakes and important cities of Canada. A panel showing the Christianization of southern Algeria and of the Sahara Desert by Charles de Foucauld was created for the interior by Georges Desvallières. A series of murals, on the right side of the church building, was painted by Raymond Virac, Lucien Simon, and Robert-Albert Génicot; these celebrate the evagelical work done in Indochina and India by Francis Xavier and that done in Japan by Alphonsus Navarette. Charles Plessard and Pauline Peugniez contributed work inspired the Irish missions of Columba. On the left-hand side of the church may be found depictions of the Christianizatin of ancient Greece, ancient Rome, Gaul, England, Germany, and the Slavic world. Maurice Denis was the most famous artist to contribute to this series; he was aided by Henri-Justin Marret, Valentine Reyre, Paul de Laboulaye, and Georges Ballot. Eight colossal stone sculptures, which lean against the partition walls of the vaults of the church and which depict the Eight Blessings of Saint Matthew, are the work of Raymond Delamarre, a sculptor known for his work in large forms, and of Anne-Marie Roux-Colas, each of whom contributed four to the final product.
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