January 21, 2005
Re: Two new Leon paintings discovered in Oceanside, CA
Hello to Leon Trousset "Fans":
I hardly know where to begin this story, so I will start at the beginning.
I know you will be pleased to hear that two more Leon paintings have been
Early yesterday morning the Trousset family was notified about an article
in the North County Times,
dated Jan. 20, 2005. It is in the Tom Morrow column entitled: "Historic
Mission artwork to be restored," and you can look it up and read
First of all, I want you to know that Manuel H. Trousset, the 80 year
old grandson of Leon Trousset has
lived in the Oceanside/Vista communities since the 1940's. He has two
sons and four daughters. He has
worshiped at the San Luis Rey Mission and two of his daughter's were married
there. He has relatives
buried in the cemetery there.
Yesterday the local newspaper announced that one of two 7-by-10-foot oil
paintings, (that have hung up very high inside the Mission Sanctuary since
the 1930's and the signatures could not be
seen) were going to be restored. One was to be taken down yesterday. The
article said the artist was "Louis" Trousset.
I immediately went there before they even opened. We clarified it must
be Leon, not Louis.
The Mission staff was so surprised to meet a living relative, and they
were even happier when three more Troussets showed up, including Manuel
We, the family, were shocked to know of these paintings in our own neighborhood!
We were told the paintings came from St. Viviana's Cathedral,
Los Angeles in the 1930's. There has been no inventory of paintings since
1945. The new museum-curator has only been there three weeks.
So we watched as three newspaper journalists and their photographers,
plus the "Questers" all snapped dozens of photos of the workmen
carefully climbing down ladders and carrying one of the huge paintings.
Everyone's interest grew as they found us Troussets, living relatives
of Leon Trousset, to be living so close by and that we did not know about
It was a wonderful day, and the Trousset family is so grateful to the
Questers who have brought these paintings to our attention, and because
been so interested in having them restored. A second article is in the
North County Times (nctimes.com, "An Extreme Makeover: Historic San
Luis Rey Paintings.")
This one has a picture of the painting they removed. You should have seen
the wall behind it. It needs to be restored as well!
The newspapers may give different names, but the Museum Curator, Bradford
Claybourn, told me they are called:
1) Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary or The Assumption of Our Lady
and the Apostles and
2) The Resurrection of Christ.
He said they are reproductions of the 17th paintings by those names.
I looked at the signature as soon as I could get close enough and it says
L. Trousset, 1876. It was such a wonderful moment to see that
signature. The paintings are not typical of his works, as you can tell
by the titles. Also, the original news article, and even the church thought
the paintings were dated 1878.
I did not have my notebooks on Leon with me since I was in a hurry to
I did manage to come up with some information for the journalists and
the wonderful group of "Questers."
Since I am sort of the family historian, the Questers have asked me to
speak to their group in April.
I am really looking forward to it, and THANKS TO YOU ALL, I have lots
of information and some color copies to show.
The Trousset family has made three copies of Leon's art from borrowed
transparencies, and we own one original.
The church and Questers would like a full scale exhibition in the future.
Well, that is the big news for now. I think the Questers and the church
are planning something special when the first painting is
restored and returned to its place on the wall at Mission San Luis Rey,
about three months from now.
Of course, we would always appreciate any thoughts or information you
may have on these two new discoveries.
Below is the view of the completed restoration of Assumption
of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
(Please note that the photos below are from a digital camera and are not
Below is Resurrection of Christ, which is
yet to be restored.