fbpx
Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

Notre-Dame Is Burning Down

Firefighters douse flames and smoke billowing from the roof at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15, 2019. Bertrand GUAY / AFP

Special Occasion And News

Notre-Dame Is Burning Down

The world has received the very sad news that Paris’s famous Notre-Dame cathedral is burning down. Sometime on April 15, 2019, during renovations to the church, the roof and spire caught fire, which spread quickly. At the time of writing this, I really don’t know what’s going to happen – whether the building is going to survive at all, and if so in what condition. I’m really heartbroken, and I’m so grateful that I had the chance to visit this icon of Gothic architecture back in 2011.

Notre-Dame is burning down

The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris in happier days. Photo by Madhurantakam (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Notre-Dame de Paris (to distinguish it from all the other legions of French churches named Notre Dame in honor of the Virgin Mary) is one of the earliest Gothic churches. It was built beginning in 1163, but it wasn’t finished until the 14th century. It has all the major hallmarks of Gothic architecture, including groin vaults, pointed arches, loads of beautiful stained glass, and gargoyles. It never reached the dizzying heights of later Gothic churches like Reims, but it is still a beautiful and awe-inspiring place that means so much to the people of France and the rest of the world, too.

Notre-Dame de Paris famous all across the world, and it’s a familiar icon of both France and the Middle Ages. According to one of the news articles I read about the fire, it has been Paris’s biggest tourists attraction, even surpassing the Eiffel Tower. Its rise to fame really began in the 19th century, when it featured in Victor Hugo’s celebrated novel Notre-Dame de Paris.

It might be comforting for some readers to learn that the cathedral has survived damage before. It suffered during the French Revolution, when many of its statues and stained glass windows were destroyed because of their connection to religion and the monarchy. It also experienced years of neglect and decay after the Middle Ages, when Gothic buildings fell out of style and were largely ignored. It was in bad shape until the 19th century, when the great Gothic Revivalist Eugene Viollet-le-Duc restored the building extensively. If you have ever visited the church or seen photos of it, you may be surprised to learn that it has been reconstructed quite extensively in places. I just hope that it will be possible to reconstruct it again.

With a heavy heart,

Alexandra

Alexandra believes that enjoying the art of the past is the closest she can get to time travel, only much safer. When she’s not being an art historian, she can usually be found ice skating and dancing. Visit her at ascholarlyskater.com.

Comments

More in Special Occasion And News

  • 1280px-Abside_SantApollinare_Classe cover 1280px-Abside_SantApollinare_Classe cover

    dailyart

    All that Glitters: The Sparkling World of Medieval Mosaics

    By

    Welcome to the sparkling world of medieval mosaics! Although not as famous as illuminated manuscripts or stained glass, mosaic was a popular art form that enlivened both Christian churches and Islamic mosques during the Middle Ages. Mosaics are images made from little pieces of colored stone...

  • Domenico di Michelino, La Divina Commedia illumina Firenze (The Divine Comedy illuminates Florence), 1465, Domo of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy. Source: www.florenceinferno.com. Domenico di Michelino, La Divina Commedia illumina Firenze (The Divine Comedy illuminates Florence), 1465, Domo of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy. Source: www.florenceinferno.com.

    dailyart

    700th Anniversary of Dante’s Death in 15 Great Artworks

    By

    Hardly any author has been such a rich source of literary inspiration for the visual arts as Dante Alighieri. His two major works, the La Vita Nuova and the Divine Comedy gave birth to various artistic traditions and currents. The Divine Comedy, Dante’s majestic epic poem, considered...

  • Middle Ages

    Treasures of Medieval Irish Art to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

    By

    Today is St. Patrick’s Day, so that means it’s a day to celebrate all things Irish. What better way to do that than by looking at some masterpieces of Irish art? Although there have been spectacular Irish artists throughout history, it’s my personal opinion that medieval...

  • dailyart

    The Wonder and Glory of Medieval Portable Shrines

    By

    For devoted Christians, a portable shrine provided an immediate and intimate way to connect to a higher power within a monastic space or the privacy of one’s home. Portable shrines were small-scale, ritual objects with movable parts that could be folded up and easily transported. Popular...

  • featured

    The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial and Its Anglo-Saxon Treasures

    By

    A new Netflix movie called The Dig (released January 29, 2021) is a fictionalized story about the 1939 discovery of the Sutton Hoo ship burial. It is based on John Preston’s novel of the same name. After watching the movie, you’re probably curious about the spectacular...

To Top