“Its architecture… possesses something so singular, so bold, and at the same time so delicate, that it has ever been esteemed one of the handsomest structures.”
– (From vol. 18 of the 1810 Encyclopaedia Londinensis)
“Notre-Dame Cathedral is the very soul of Paris but so much more—it is a touchstone for all that is the best about the world, and a monument to the highest aspirations of artistic achievement that transcends religion and time. It has survived so much—from the French Revolution to Nazi occupation—to watch its devastation is excruciating.”
– Barbara Drake Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock, Senior Curator for The Met Cloisters. ⠀
Like many around the world, we were so sad and shocked to see the Notre-Dame burning on Monday — to witness such history in flames. But also relieved to learn now that so much was saved, including the main structure and many of its stunning stained-glass windows. We spent the day yesterday picking out highlights from the many centuries of artworks to feature the iconic building — from its illuminated punctuation of medieval skylines to grainy detailed studies at the birth of photography. We are presenting them here in rough chronological order, which we hope gives a sense of how this magnificent building — more than eight centuries old — has inspired and outlasted so many epochs and lives and, thanks to the dedication of another generation of craftspeople, will continue to do so.