The Notre-Dame Cathedral in Art (1460–1921)

“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 — 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.

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