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NOTRE DAME DE PARIS IN MORE THAN 100 WORKS

The unique story of a cathedral that became the symbol of a nation
NOTRE DAME DE PARIS IN MORE THAN 100 WORKS
The unique story of a cathedral that became the symbol of a nation

One of the capital’s emblematic monuments, Notre Dame Cathedral has been part of the Paris cityscape for over 800 years. On April 15, 2019, the fire that ravaged the woodwork and spire of Notre Dame provoked a deeply emotional reaction in both France and many other countries. This catastrophe brought about a new awareness of the fragility of our historical monuments. During the French Revolution, the cathedral was mutilated, pillaged, and later transferred over into a national property. It nonetheless continued to represent a special place in the urban landscape, for a few years it even became the headquarters of the new atheist cult of reason. The Concordat of 1801 re-established the Catholic religion and Notre Dame recovered its initial function. In the nineteenth century, Victor Hugo’s famous novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, was wildly popular, and Notre Dame entered the hearts of every Frenchman. It became the place for state funerals and celebrations of military victories, most notably during the Liberation of Paris. The show of generosity immediately following the fire in 2019 showed how strongly the French are attached to monuments like this one and underscored how much they are a part of collective French history. Added to the national list of Historical Monuments in 1862 and later to the UNESCO World Heritage list, Notre Dame is a must-see for visitors to Paris. It is one of the most frequently-visited sites in the country, and is also the starting point for all roads in France!

Although it is one of the capital’s main tourist attractions, the cathedral is still dedicated to faithful worshipers and to liturgical celebrations. It is one of the most important Christian religious sites both in France and across the world because it holds extremely important relics that were formerly kept in nearby Sainte Chapelle. These include the Crown of Thorns purchased by St. Louis, a fragment of the cross, a nail from the treasury of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem that was given to Charlemagne in 799, and the tunic of St. Louis.

A selection of more than 100 reproductions of works that are found in the City of Paris museums retraces the history of Notre Dame and highlights the great events witnessed by the cathedral.

SECTION 1 : NOTRE DAME DE PARIS: FROM EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH TO HISTORICAL MONUMENT

NOTRE DAME DE PARIS: FROM EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH TO HISTORICAL MONUMENT

In the twelfth century, Paris archbishop Maurice de Sully launched the construction of a new cathedral on the site of the former one. Located in the heart of Ile de la Cité, this area had been occupied since Antiquity by a number of buildings whose remains are on view in the Archeological Crypt. Several decades were needed to finish the work of raising the vaults with intersecting ribs and building the flying buttresses and framework. Most of the limestone used for construction came from quarries in the Paris region, just like the thousands of oak trees that went into building the framework. These beams were nicknamed the “Notre Dame Forest”. The original plans were redesigned during the first half of the thirteenth century, with the addition of a water drainage system and a spire. Window openings were also made high in the towers to allow more light to reach the depths of this stone vessel. The rose windows and the other large openings were a triumph of stained-glass art that made Notre Dame de Paris one of the most majestic of the Rayonnant Gothic-style, and a symbol of the capital.

NOTRE DAME: AN ARCHITECTURAL JEWEL

Measuring 127 meters long and 69 meters high at the towers, Notre Dame is one of the largest medieval cathedrals in Europe. Until the Eiffel Tower’s construction in the late nineteenth century, the cathedral had been the tallest monument in the capital for centuries. Stained glass, which appeared in the twelfth century, was used from the beginning of Notre Dame’s construction. This worksite (like the one at Sainte Chapelle) led to the mastery of the technique for stained glass windows, which, at the time, required substantial financial means to be able to obtain the metal oxides required for coloring the glass. Among the remarkable elements of Notre Dame are the three rose windows set in stonework as fine as lace, which are masterpieces of Gothic architecture. The western rose window shows the Virgin and Child at the center of the composition, whose details can be observed on the engraving made by Emile Ollivier in the nineteenth century.

The choir, the area around the altar, of Notre Dame was rearranged with respect to the original layout, and the choir we see today was the work of architect Robert de Cotte. In 1637, Louis XIII implored the Virgin Mary to give him a son. As proof of his devotion, he decided to modify the choir of Notre Dame and give the cathedral a new main altar. Work began under Louis XIV with the demolition of the rood screen—a part of the altar—and the creation of a choir (during this work, fragments of the famous Pillar of the Nautes were discovered, now housed at the Musée de Cluny). A group of monumental sculptures presides majestically in the center of the new architectural arrangement, including a white marble pieta by Nicolas Coustou, a statue of Louis XIII offering his crown to Mary made by Guillaume Coustou, and a statue of Louis XIV imploring the Virgin, sculpted by Antoine Coysevox.

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Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
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Others visuals (66)
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
Cardinal, Auguste
Dating
Avant 1847
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Cardinal, Auguste
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Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
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XIIIe Siècle/ Pl. XIX/ Eglise Notre-Dame./ Rose de la façade occidentale./ (Restauration)
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Ollivier, Emile Edmond
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Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Ollivier, Emile Edmond (Versailles, 07–09–1800 - en 1864)
Estampe, Arts graphiques
XIIIe Siècle/ Pl. XIX/ Eglise Notre-Dame./ Rose de la façade occidentale./ (Restauration)
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Pl.IX/ Marbrerie,/ Plan du pavé du Sanctuaire, et d'une partie du Chœur de l'Eglise de Notre Dame de Paris.
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Pl.IX/ Marbrerie,/ Plan du pavé du Sanctuaire, et d'une partie du Chœur de l'Eglise de Notre Dame de Paris.
Benard, Robert
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Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Benard, Robert (Paris, en 1734)
Estampe, Arts graphiques
Pl.IX/ Marbrerie,/ Plan du pavé du Sanctuaire, et d'une partie du Chœur de l'Eglise de Notre Dame de Paris.
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La Cité et ses alentours au XVIe siècle
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9e Vol./ Emile Leconte - Notre Dame de Paris/ Plan et Coupe/ d'une des Chapelles sous l'Abside./ Intérieur.
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Etat du chœur de Notre-Dame et de l'archevéché, après la mort de Maurice de Sully (dernières années du douzième siècle).
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Etat du chœur de Notre-Dame et de l'archevéché, après la mort de Maurice de Sully (dernières années du douzième siècle).
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Elévation du fond du choeur de N.D. de Paris et de son autel principal
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Elévation du fond du choeur de N.D. de Paris et de son autel principal
Blondel, Jacques François
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Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Blondel, Jacques François (Rouen, 08–01–1705 - Paris, 09–01–1774)
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NOTRE-DAME: A MATHEMATICAL REFERENCE

In several documents from the Carnavalet Museum, it is interesting to note that Notre Dame became a mathematical tool. In his “Géometrie pratique” (Practical Geometry) from 1702, Allain Manesson-Mallet uses the cathedral as an example for a trigonometry demonstration:

“A chaplain from the Hôtel Dieu of Paris, who had some notions of geometry, wanted to know—without leaving his house—how high the north tower of Notre Dame was from the ground level (O) to the balustrade (P) [...]” (La Géométrie pratique, T.2, p.74).

In other documents, Notre Dame is a reference point, a sort of yardstick used to compare the dimensions of major engineering projects, such as the artesian well at the Grenelle slaughterhouse or the “300-meter-tall tower” of Gustave Eiffel, or even to emphasize the gigantic dimensions of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

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Coupe du puits artésien de l'abattoir Grenelle. Figures des monuments : cathédrale de Strasbourg, Notre-Dame de Paris, Dôme des Invalides, basilique St Pierre à Rome
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Coupe du puits artésien de l'abattoir Grenelle. Figures des monuments : cathédrale de Strasbourg, Notre-Dame de Paris, Dôme des Invalides, basilique St Pierre à Rome
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Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Ollivier, Emile Edmond (Versailles, 07–09–1800 - en 1864)
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G. Eiffel / Ingénieur constructeur à Levallois-Perret / Tour de 300 mètres / Pl. XI.
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Le Génie civil
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Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Le Génie civil
Estampe, Manuscrits, imprimés, reliure, Arts graphiques
G. Eiffel / Ingénieur constructeur à Levallois-Perret / Tour de 300 mètres / Pl. XI.

A TENOR BELL TOLLS FOR A MISSING SPIRE

The 2019 fire destroyed the spire, one of the cathedral’s defining architectural elements. Built in the thirteenth century, the first spire was a bell tower (visible on an engraving by Jacques Rigaud). This spire was dismantled between 1786 and 1792 because it was in danger of collapsing. In the lower left corner of a stereoscopic view from the first half of the nineteenth century, an empty space was visible at the transept crossing. It can also be seen on Émile Harrouart’s representation of the apse. It wasn’t until 1843 that a restoration by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc finally crowned the cathedral summit with a spire. Made of wood and protected with lead, it reached a height of 96 meters. In the towers on the west side of the building, 21 bells peal during religious ceremonies and major events. The “bourdon,” or tenor bell, is the oldest of the bells (it was cast in 1683 during Louis XIV’s reign); it has an imposing diameter of 2.62 meters and weighs 13 tons!

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Charpente de la flèche de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
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Charpente de la flèche de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
Corroyer, Edouard
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Corroyer, Edouard (Amiens, 14–09–1835 - Paris, 30–01–1904)
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Charpente de la flèche de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
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La cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, vue prise du haut de la tour sud, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
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La cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, vue prise du haut de la tour sud, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Anonyme
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Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Anonyme
Photographie, Arts graphiques
La cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, vue prise du haut de la tour sud, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
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Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
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Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
Lelion
Dating
Avant 1855
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Lelion
Maquette
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
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Autre vüe Particulière de Paris depuis Nôtre Dame jusques au Pont de la Tournelle.
© Musée Carnavalet / Ville de Paris
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Autre vüe Particulière de Paris depuis Nôtre Dame jusques au Pont de la Tournelle.
Rigaud, Jacques
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Rigaud, Jacques (Marseille, vers 1681 - Paris, 10–08–1754)
Estampe, Arts graphiques
Autre vüe Particulière de Paris depuis Nôtre Dame jusques au Pont de la Tournelle.
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La cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris et le pont de l'Archevêché, la flèche de Notre-Dame en construction vers 1860 (échafaudages), 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Rémi Briant,Carnavalet,Ville de Paris
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La cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris et le pont de l'Archevêché, la flèche de Notre-Dame en construction vers 1860 (échafaudages), 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Anonyme
Dating
Vers 1860
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Anonyme
Photographie, Arts graphiques
La cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris et le pont de l'Archevêché, la flèche de Notre-Dame en construction vers 1860 (échafaudages), 4ème arrondissement, Paris.

THE NOTRE DAME PARVIS

During the Middle Ages, Paris was one of the largest cities in the West, and Ile de la Cité was its center. Since this dense neighborhood was occupied by a number of buildings (religious, royal, or private) and crisscrossed by winding narrow streets, the architects of Notre Dame needed to create a vast open area. To do this, they tore down the Romanesque church of Saint Etienne and left an empty area in front of the monumental portal of the new edifice that would open on Rue Neuve-Notre-Dame. This became the parvis of Notre Dame de Paris, the front courtyard or square. In the sixteenth century, it was surrounded by a low wall, against which the so-called “Jeûneur” fountain, designed by the king’s architect Christophe Gamard, was built in 1639. The former Hôtel-Dieu Church was located on the south edge of the parvis (it can be seen on the sixteenth-century layout by Truschet and Hoyau).  In 1748, the fountain was destroyed and the parvis was redesigned so that the Enfants Trouvés hospital designed by Germain Boffrand could be built on the west side. After the fire of 1772, the Hôtel Dieu was given a monumental neoclassical entrance that opened on to the Notre Dame parvis.  In 1865, it was demolished and rebuilt on the north side of the parvis. Then, in 1874, the Enfants Trouvés hospital was torn down so that Rue Neuve-Notre-Dame could be widened, leaving the parvis with the aspect we see today. Some planned projects were not ultimately carried out, such as the installation of a monument paying tribute to Joan of Arc in the center of the parvis. Instead, an equestrian statue of Charlemagne was chosen. The numerous changes made in the nineteenth century allowed for archeological excavations that enriched the knowledge of Ile de la Cité during Antiquity (site of the archeological map of Paris).

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Epoque romaine/ et mérovingienne./ Pl. XVIII./ Fouilles exécutées sur le parvis Notre-Dame./ en 1847./ Coupes et détails.
© Musée Carnavalet / Ville de Paris
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Epoque romaine/ et mérovingienne./ Pl. XVIII./ Fouilles exécutées sur le parvis Notre-Dame./ en 1847./ Coupes et détails.
Ollivier, Emile Edmond
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Ollivier, Emile Edmond (Versailles, 07–09–1800 - en 1864)
Estampe, Arts graphiques
Epoque romaine/ et mérovingienne./ Pl. XVIII./ Fouilles exécutées sur le parvis Notre-Dame./ en 1847./ Coupes et détails.
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L'Assistance publique, place du Parvis Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement.
© Musée Carnavalet / Ville de Paris
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© Musée Carnavalet / Roger-Viollet
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L'Assistance publique, place du Parvis Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement.
Fichot, Michel Charles
Dating
Entre 1867 et 1877
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Fichot, Michel Charles (Troyes, 06–06–1817 - Paris, 07–07–1903)
Dessin, Arts graphiques
L'Assistance publique, place du Parvis Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement.
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Façade de l'ancien Hôtel-Dieu, 4ème arrondissement, Paris
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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Façade de l'ancien Hôtel-Dieu, 4ème arrondissement, Paris
Marville, Charles (Charles-François Bossu, dit)
Dating
Entre 1865 et 1868
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Marville, Charles (Charles-François Bossu, dit) (17–07–1813 - 01–06–1879)
Photographie
Façade de l'ancien Hôtel-Dieu, 4ème arrondissement, Paris
SECTION 2 : Notre-Dame de Paris, lieu de culte et symbole du pouvoir

NOTRE DAME OF PARIS: PLACE OF WORSHIP AND SYMBOL OF POWER

Until the French Revolution, Notre Dame was one of the main Catholic churches in Paris. It was the setting where kings, popes, bishops and great figures participated in the kingdom’s major events.

THE ST. GENEVIEVE PROCESSIONS

Playing an essential role in religious life, the cathedral was the place where the faithful went to meditate and pray. From the Middle Ages to the French Revolution, the heart of the capital beat to the rhythm of the yearly schedule of religious ceremonies. One of the most famous of these ceremonies (although infrequent) was most surely the procession of the reliquary of St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris, from St. Genevieve Abbey to Notre Dame.  During this ceremony, each participant’s position was determined by the hierarchy of social status. The most important figures of the city were found at the end of the procession, next to the main reliquary. This is why they are the ones shown in the foreground in works representing the event.

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L'auguste procession de la chasse de Ste Geneviève en l'église de Notre Dame / le 26 mai 1694. Pour obtenir de Dieu par l'intercession de la grande Sainte, le temps propre pour les biens de la terre, et pour les autres besoins de l'église et de l'estat.
© Musée Carnavalet / Ville de Paris
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L'auguste procession de la chasse de Ste Geneviève en l'église de Notre Dame / le 26 mai 1694. Pour obtenir de Dieu par l'intercession de la grande Sainte, le temps propre pour les biens de la terre, et pour les autres besoins de l'église et de l'estat.
Anonyme
Dating
En 1695
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Anonyme
Estampe, Arts graphiques
L'auguste procession de la chasse de Ste Geneviève en l'église de Notre Dame / le 26 mai 1694. Pour obtenir de Dieu par l'intercession de la grande Sainte, le temps propre pour les biens de la terre, et pour les autres besoins de l'église et de l'estat.
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Esquisse pour l'église Saint-Sulpice : Le miracle des Ardents - Procession de la châsse de sainte Geneviève
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Petit Palais
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Petit Palais
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Esquisse pour l'église Saint-Sulpice : Le miracle des Ardents - Procession de la châsse de sainte Geneviève
Timbal, Louis Charles
Dating
Entre 1860 et 1864
Museum
Petit Palais, musée des Beaux-arts de la Ville de Paris
Timbal, Louis Charles (Paris, 26–02–1821 - 20–11–1880)
Peinture
Esquisse pour l'église Saint-Sulpice : Le miracle des Ardents - Procession de la châsse de sainte Geneviève

THE “MAYS” OF NOTRE DAME DE PARIS

Starting in the sixteenth century, the goldsmiths’ guild of Paris commissioned artists every year to create small paintings representing biblical scenes related to the Virgin Mary to be offered to the cathedral in the month of May (also spelled “May” in Old French). From 1630 to 1707, these paintings took on colossal dimensions and were exhibited at various locations in the cathedral. The works representing these “Mays” often included a perspective view of the Notre Dame nave that highlighted the building’s monumentality. During the French Revolution, the Mays were seized and some were taken to the Louvre. Others were kept in the regions and some disappeared. After the Concordat of 1801, thirteen “Mays” were hung once again in the side chapels of the Notre Dame nave, in particular the goldsmiths’ chapel.

For further information: Christin Olivier, “Le May des orfèvres. Contribution à l'histoire de la genèse du sentiment esthétique” (The Goldsmiths’ May: Contribution to the Genesis of Aesthetic Sentiment), in Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, vol. 105, December 1994, “Stratégies de reproduction et transmission des pouvoirs” (Strategies for Reproduction and Transmission of Power), Pierre Bourdieu (dir.), pp. 75-90. Available for consultation at: https://www.persee.fr/doc/arss_0335-5322_1994_num_105_1_3128

For further information: Christin Olivier, “Le May des orfèvres. Contribution à l'histoire de la genèse du sentiment esthétique” (The Goldsmiths’ May: Contribution to the Genesis of Aesthetic Sentiment), in Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, vol. 105, December 1994, “Stratégies de reproduction et transmission des pouvoirs” (Strategies for Reproduction and Transmission of Power), Pierre Bourdieu (dir.), pp. 75-90. Available for consultation at: https://www.persee.fr/doc/arss_0335-5322_1994_num_105_1_3128
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Vue et perspective du dedans de l'Eglise de la Cathédrale de notre Dame de Paris Dédiée à Monseigneur de Noailles [...]
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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Vue et perspective du dedans de l'Eglise de la Cathédrale de notre Dame de Paris Dédiée à Monseigneur de Noailles [...]
Anonyme
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Anonyme
Estampe, Arts graphiques
Vue et perspective du dedans de l'Eglise de la Cathédrale de notre Dame de Paris Dédiée à Monseigneur de Noailles [...]
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La Pêche miraculeuse ou la Vocation de saint Pierre. "Petit may" de Notre-Dame. 1624.
© Musée Carnavalet / Roger-Viollet
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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La Pêche miraculeuse ou la Vocation de saint Pierre. "Petit may" de Notre-Dame. 1624.
Vignon, Claude
Dating
Vers 1624
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Vignon, Claude (Tours, 19–05–1593 - Paris, 10–05–1670)
Peinture
La Pêche miraculeuse ou la Vocation de saint Pierre. "Petit may" de Notre-Dame. 1624.
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Saint Paul et saint Barnabé refusant les honneurs divins à Lystre. Esquisse pour le "may" de Notre-Dame de 1644.
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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Saint Paul et saint Barnabé refusant les honneurs divins à Lystre. Esquisse pour le "may" de Notre-Dame de 1644.
Corneille, Michel (l'Ancien)
Dating
En 1644
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Corneille, Michel (l'Ancien) (Orléans, vers 1601 - Paris, 13–06–1664)
Peinture
Saint Paul et saint Barnabé refusant les honneurs divins à Lystre. Esquisse pour le "may" de Notre-Dame de 1644.

NOTRE DAME AND ROYAL POWER

Notre Dame de Paris witnessed some of the major events that shook the capital and the country. During the sixteenth century, when the country was in the midst of the Wars of Religion, King Henry III of France was assassinated in 1589 by the Dominican monk Jacques Clément, a fervent partisan of the Catholic League. Henry IV, who succeeded him with the title of “King of France and Navarre,” entered Paris peacefully on March 22, 1594, and went to Notre Dame to pray. The cathedral appears in the background of two works representing this event. The building can easily be identified by its characteristic silhouette and rose window.

Official ceremonies were held under the rib-vaulted ceiling. In 1663, Louis XIV welcomed a diplomatic delegation to Paris that was made up of representatives from the thirteen Swiss cantons. This encounter was the result of several years of behind-the-scenes negotiations that led to the signing of an alliance between France and the Swiss leagues. In Paris, negotiations took place out of sight until the official ceremony that featured the swearing of the oath of allegiance in Notre Dame Cathedral. The print shown reproduces the scene depicted by Charles le Brun, the king’s foremost painter. Louis XIV also ordered a series of tapestries entitled “The King’s History” from the Royal Manufactory of the Gobelins, which were designed to spread royal propaganda. The original tapestry representing the swearing of the oath of allegiance now hangs in the Swiss Embassy in Paris.

Leading figures in the kingdom celebrated baptisms, weddings, and funerals at Notre Dame de Paris. In 1746, this was where the funeral services for Maria Teresa of Spain were held with pomp and circumstance. She was the first wife of Louis de France (son of Louis XV and father of kings Louis XVI, Louis XVIII, and Charles X), who died a few days after giving birth to Marie Thérèse of France. During the same year, funeral services were held at Notre Dame for Philip V, King of Spain from the Bourbon side, although the sovereign’s body was not present. This type of in absentia ceremony was characteristic of European monarchies from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.

For further information: “La mort du Prince, Pompes funèbres et recueils gravés” (The Death of the Prince, Funeral Services and Engraved Collections), by Vivien Richard, in Chroniques de L’éphémère, Le livre de fête, in the Jacques Doucet collection, Dominique Morelon (dir.) 2010: https://books.openedition.org/inha/2846?lang=fr and “Les pompes funèbres des souverains étrangers à Notre-Dame de Paris, XVIe-XVIIIe siècles” (Funeral Services for Foreign Sovereigns at Notre Dame de Paris in the 16th-18th Centuries), by Jean-Marie Le Gall in: Revue d’Histoire moderne et contemporaine, 2013/3, no. 59-3, pp.96-123: https://www.cairn.info/revue-d-histoire-moderne-et-contemporaine-2012-3-page-96.htm#.

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Comme le Roy alla incontinent à l'Eglise de Notre Dame rendre grâces solennelles à Dieu de cette admirable réduction de la ville Capitale de son Royaume.
© Musée Carnavalet / Ville de Paris
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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Comme le Roy alla incontinent à l'Eglise de Notre Dame rendre grâces solennelles à Dieu de cette admirable réduction de la ville Capitale de son Royaume.
Anonyme
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Anonyme
Estampe, Arts graphiques
Comme le Roy alla incontinent à l'Eglise de Notre Dame rendre grâces solennelles à Dieu de cette admirable réduction de la ville Capitale de son Royaume.
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Renouvellement d'alliance entre la France et les Suisses, fait dans l'église Notre-Dame de Paris par le roi Louis XIV [...].
© Musée Carnavalet / Ville de Paris
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Renouvellement d'alliance entre la France et les Suisses, fait dans l'église Notre-Dame de Paris par le roi Louis XIV [...].
Le Clerc, Simon
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Le Clerc, Simon
Estampe, Arts graphiques
Renouvellement d'alliance entre la France et les Suisses, fait dans l'église Notre-Dame de Paris par le roi Louis XIV [...].
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Pompe funèbre de Marie Therese d'Espagne Dauphine de France, en l'église/ de Nôtre Dame de Paris le XXIV Novembre M.D.CCXLVI.
© Musée Carnavalet / Ville de Paris
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Pompe funèbre de Marie Therese d'Espagne Dauphine de France, en l'église/ de Nôtre Dame de Paris le XXIV Novembre M.D.CCXLVI.
Cochin, Charles Nicolas (le fils)
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Cochin, Charles Nicolas (le fils) (Paris, 22–02–1715 - Paris, 29–06–1790)
Estampe, Arts graphiques
Pompe funèbre de Marie Therese d'Espagne Dauphine de France, en l'église/ de Nôtre Dame de Paris le XXIV Novembre M.D.CCXLVI.
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Pompe funèbre de Philippe de France, roi d'Espagne et des Indes,
© Musée Carnavalet / Ville de Paris
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© Musée Carnavalet / Ville de Paris
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Pompe funèbre de Philippe de France, roi d'Espagne et des Indes,
Cochin, Charles Nicolas (le fils)
Dating
En 1746
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Cochin, Charles Nicolas (le fils) (Paris, 22–02–1715 - Paris, 29–06–1790)
Estampe, Arts graphiques
Pompe funèbre de Philippe de France, roi d'Espagne et des Indes,

TORMENTED BY THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

When the French Revolution broke out, Notre Dame and its assets were seized by the newborn Republic.  In the political and social upheaval that followed the Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, the municipality of Paris came into being. Jean-Sylvain Bailly, the first president of the National Assembly, was named to lead Paris, thus becoming the city’s first mayor. Once again, Notre Dame was chosen for celebrating the event. In his History of the French Revolution, Adolphe Thiers describes this episode in the following way:

 

“A Te Deum was immediately voted upon, and we went together as a crowd to Notre Dame. Marching arm-in-arm, the new judges, the archbishop of Paris and the electors, together with French Guards and militia soldiers, went to the old cathedral in a state that resembled intoxication. On the way, orphaned children fell at the feet of Bailly, who had done much for the hospitals, and called him “father” (History of the French Revolution by A. Thiers and F. Bodin, 1865, Paris, T.1, p.403. Online at BnF)

The National Guard, which had been created a few days earlier, took its members from the 60 newly created districts in Paris that were added to the existing parishes to get a better idea of Parisian social reality. From July 17, 1789, to December 31 of the same year, the flags of the National Guard were blessed at Notre Dame, a short time before it was desecrated. Then, the cathedral was vandalized, in particular the sculptures of the Gallery of Kings on the façade. It became a polling place and, from 1793 to 1795, a wine storehouse belonging to the Republic. After the passing of a law on May 31, 1795, that granted the use of non-alienated buildings to various religions, the well-known Abbot Gregory (bishop of Loir-et-Cher and later president of the Constituent Assembly) created the “Catholic Society of Notre Dame” and was given the keys to Notre Dame by the Ile de la Cité section. At that point, Notre Dame was in an advanced stage of disrepair.

It was not until 1804 that Notre Dame again became the site of prestigious ceremonies and regained its former glory with the consecration of Napoleon Bonaparte. For the occasion, fringed silk rugs covered the floor, gigantic draperies with the emperor’s coat of arms were hung from balconies and immense chandeliers were hung from the vaults (description of the preparations). By choosing the cathedral to celebrate his ascension to the throne, Napoleon placed it once again at the center of buildings that symbolize power.

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BENEDICTION DES DRAPEAUX DE LA GARDE NATIONALE PARISIENNE A NOTRE-DAME, le 27 septembre 1789.
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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BENEDICTION DES DRAPEAUX DE LA GARDE NATIONALE PARISIENNE A NOTRE-DAME, le 27 septembre 1789.
Prieur, Jean-Louis
Dating
En 1789
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Prieur, Jean-Louis (Paris, en 1759 - Paris, 07–05–1795)
Estampe, Arts graphiques, Révolution française
BENEDICTION DES DRAPEAUX DE LA GARDE NATIONALE PARISIENNE A NOTRE-DAME, le 27 septembre 1789.
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Recueil de gravures d'illustration pour l'Histoire de la Révolution de Thiers
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée de la Vie Romantique
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Others visuals (19)
Recueil de gravures d'illustration pour l'Histoire de la Révolution de Thiers
Scheffer, Ary
Museum
Musée de la Vie romantique
Scheffer, Ary (Dordrecht, 10–01–1795 - Argenteuil, 15–06–1858)
Arts graphiques, Estampe
Recueil de gravures d'illustration pour l'Histoire de la Révolution de Thiers
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XI Frimaire An XIII (2 Décembre 1804) / Fête du Sacre et Couronnement de leurs Majestés Impériales / Vue de la Place du Parvis Notre Dame de Paris [...].
© Musée Carnavalet / Ville de Paris
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XI Frimaire An XIII (2 Décembre 1804) / Fête du Sacre et Couronnement de leurs Majestés Impériales / Vue de la Place du Parvis Notre Dame de Paris [...].
Le Coeur, Louis
Dating
Après 1804
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Le Coeur, Louis
Estampe, Arts graphiques
XI Frimaire An XIII (2 Décembre 1804) / Fête du Sacre et Couronnement de leurs Majestés Impériales / Vue de la Place du Parvis Notre Dame de Paris [...].
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Projet de décoration du chœur de Notre-Dame et du trône pontifical pour le sacre de Napoléon.
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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Projet de décoration du chœur de Notre-Dame et du trône pontifical pour le sacre de Napoléon.
Percier, Charles
Dating
En 1804
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Percier, Charles (Paris, 22–08–1764 - Paris, 05–09–1838)
Arts graphiques, Dessin
Projet de décoration du chœur de Notre-Dame et du trône pontifical pour le sacre de Napoléon.

RETURN TO CATHOLICISM AND THE JOLTS OF THE MODERN ERA

During the nineteenth century, Notre Dame de Paris was once again the preferred place for great national ceremonies, such as weddings and baptisms. On June 17, 1816, Charles-Ferdinand d’Artois (the son of Charles X) and Marie-Caroline de Bourbon-Sicile were married in splendor. Designed ahead of time, the decorations filled Notre Dame with wall hangings, curtains and foliage garlands that created an exceptional setting.

 

The baptism of the imperial prince, son of Napoleon III, on June 14, 1856, at Notre Dame was another occasion to observe the means employed to glorify the ceremony, whose decoration was supervised by Viollet-le-Duc himself. The splendor was such that Napoleon III commented: “This baptism is worthy of a consecration,” a direct allusion to the ceremony of his uncle’s enthronement some 52 years earlier at the same site.

 

The only negative event was the pillage of the cathedral and the archbishop’s palace on July 29, 1830, during the revolution that dethroned Charles X.

 

Some of the nation’s great figures were also entitled to funeral services at Notre Dame, such as Louis Pasteur on October 6, 1895, Dr. Emile Roux in 1933 and François Mitterrand on January 11, 1996.

 

In May 1945, General De Gaulle and the allied ambassadors attended a Te Deum (a religious ceremony of praise and thanksgiving) given at Notre Dame to celebrate the capitulation of Nazi Germany. In the second half of the twentieth century, major restoration work was carried out, in particular on the stained glass windows. Following the Second Vatican Council and at the request of Monsignor Lustiger, a new altar was installed at the transept crossing. In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the 850th anniversary of the edifice inside a partially-restored cathedral.

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Dessin préparatoire du mariage du Duc et la Duchesse de Berry à Notre-Dame, le 17 juin 1816
© Musée Carnavalet / Ville de Paris
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Dessin préparatoire du mariage du Duc et la Duchesse de Berry à Notre-Dame, le 17 juin 1816
Dugourc, Jean-Démosthène
Dating
En 17–06–1816
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Dugourc, Jean-Démosthène (Versailles, 23–09–1749 - Paris, 01–04–1825)
Dessin, Arts graphiques
Dessin préparatoire du mariage du Duc et la Duchesse de Berry à Notre-Dame, le 17 juin 1816
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Baptême du Prince impérial à la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, le 14 juin 1856, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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Baptême du Prince impérial à la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, le 14 juin 1856, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Marville, Charles (Charles-François Bossu, dit)
Dating
En 1856
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Marville, Charles (Charles-François Bossu, dit) (17–07–1813 - 01–06–1879)
Photographie
Baptême du Prince impérial à la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, le 14 juin 1856, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
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Libération de Paris - 22 août 1944 - F.F.I. lançant des bouteilles incendiaires d'une fenêtre de l'hôtel-bar de la Cité, rue du Petit-Pont, 5ème arrondissement, Paris.
© Robert Doisneau - Reproduction : Musée Carnavalet / Parisienne de Photographie
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Libération de Paris - 22 août 1944 - F.F.I. lançant des bouteilles incendiaires d'une fenêtre de l'hôtel-bar de la Cité, rue du Petit-Pont, 5ème arrondissement, Paris.
Doisneau, Robert
Dating
En 1944
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Doisneau, Robert (Gentilly, 14–04–1912 - Paris, 01–04–1994)
Photographie, Arts graphiques
Libération de Paris - 22 août 1944 - F.F.I. lançant des bouteilles incendiaires d'une fenêtre de l'hôtel-bar de la Cité, rue du Petit-Pont, 5ème arrondissement, Paris.
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Les obsèques nationales du Docteur Roux, le catafalque sur la place du parvis Notre-Dame
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
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Other visual (1)
Les obsèques nationales du Docteur Roux, le catafalque sur la place du parvis Notre-Dame
Destez, Paul
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Destez, Paul (Paris, en 1851 - en 1919)
Estampe, Manuscrits, imprimés, reliure, Arts graphiques
Les obsèques nationales du Docteur Roux, le catafalque sur la place du parvis Notre-Dame
Zoom
Libération de Paris - 26 août 1944 - La foule attend le général de Gaulle devant la cathédrale Notre-Dame, rue de la Cité et place du parvis Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
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(c) Musée Carnavalet / Ville de Paris
X
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Others visuals (2)
Libération de Paris - 26 août 1944 - La foule attend le général de Gaulle devant la cathédrale Notre-Dame, rue de la Cité et place du parvis Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Préfecture de Police (Paris)
Dating
En 1944
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Préfecture de Police (Paris)
Photographie, Arts graphiques
Libération de Paris - 26 août 1944 - La foule attend le général de Gaulle devant la cathédrale Notre-Dame, rue de la Cité et place du parvis Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
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Arrivée du cortège funèbre de S.A.R. le duc d'Orléans à Notre-Dame,/ Le 30 Juillet 1842.
© Musée Carnavalet / Ville de Paris
X
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Other visual (1)
Arrivée du cortège funèbre de S.A.R. le duc d'Orléans à Notre-Dame,/ Le 30 Juillet 1842.
Grenier, Ernest
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Grenier, Ernest (Sèvres)
Estampe, Arts graphiques
Arrivée du cortège funèbre de S.A.R. le duc d'Orléans à Notre-Dame,/ Le 30 Juillet 1842.
Zoom
Baptême de S.A. le prince impérial/ Napoléon-Eugène-Louis-Jean-Joseph, en l'église de Notre-Dame-de-Paris le 14 Juin 1856.
© Musée Carnavalet / Ville de Paris
X
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Other visual (1)
Baptême de S.A. le prince impérial/ Napoléon-Eugène-Louis-Jean-Joseph, en l'église de Notre-Dame-de-Paris le 14 Juin 1856.
Gaildrau, Jules
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Gaildrau, Jules (18–09–1816 - en 1898)
Estampe, Arts graphiques
Baptême de S.A. le prince impérial/ Napoléon-Eugène-Louis-Jean-Joseph, en l'église de Notre-Dame-de-Paris le 14 Juin 1856.
NOTRE DAME AND THE LIBERATION OF PARIS

The fight to liberate Paris was filmed by a team of Resistance cameramen and were the first images of Free France broadcast by France Libre Actualités and the French Cinema Liberation Committee (CLCF). Source: INA.

A HISTORIC CHRISTMAS MASS
INA film

On December 24, 1948, the first mass to be filmed for television was shot live from Notre Dame de Paris. It was a technical feat for the teams of Radiodiffusion Française, who had to adapt to the special conditions imposed by the setting. Source: INA.

STEADFAST TIES BETWEEN NOTRE DAME AND PARIS

STEADFAST TIES BETWEEN NOTRE DAME AND PARIS

In the nineteenth century, the urban landscape of Paris was transformed in large part through the work of Baron Haussmann. Broad avenues were built, buildings were standardized and aligned, squares were created and, as we have seen, the Hôtel Dieu was moved to the north of the Notre Dame parvis, leaving more space for the cathedral and setting it off to greater advantage. This work coincided with the start of Viollet-le-Duc’s rehabilitation of Notre Dame.

 

In the mid-nineteenth century, the building acquired a gas lighting system, which was installed by the “Parisian Company of Gas Lighting and Heating.” This innovation required numerous brigades to light the gas burners. Photographers like Brassaï or Louis Vert captured the work of “lamp cleaners” on film. It was their job to remove the soot deposited on windows by the burning of coal gas. In line with newfound hygenic ideals of the nineteenth century, innovations appeared, such as the “sweeper truck” or the “watering truck” that was immortalized at the foot of Notre Dame by Eugène Atget.

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Travaux des fondations de la caserne de la Cité, île de la Cité avec Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
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Other visual (1)
Travaux des fondations de la caserne de la Cité, île de la Cité avec Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Richebourg, Pierre Ambroise
Dating
Entre 1864 et 1865
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Richebourg, Pierre Ambroise (Laignes, 28–11–1810 - Saint-Pierre-lès-Nemours, 28–12–1875)
Photographie, Arts graphiques
Travaux des fondations de la caserne de la Cité, île de la Cité avec Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Zoom
Nettoyeurs de réverbères, place du Parvis-Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
© Louis Vert / Musée Carnavalet / Roger-Viollet
X
Zoom
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
Zoom
Others visuals (2)
Nettoyeurs de réverbères, place du Parvis-Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Vert, Louis
Dating
Entre 1900 et 1906
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Vert, Louis (Paris, 05–09–1865 - Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône, 20–09–1924)
Photographie, Arts graphiques
Nettoyeurs de réverbères, place du Parvis-Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Zoom
Bus passant à l'arrêt de bus Cité, la cathédrale Nôtre-Dame au loin, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
© Roger Schall / Musée Carnavalet / Roger-Viollet
X
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© Roger Schall / Musée Carnavalet / Roger-Viollet
X
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Others visuals (2)
Bus passant à l'arrêt de bus Cité, la cathédrale Nôtre-Dame au loin, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Schall, Roger
Dating
En 1935
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Schall, Roger (Nancy, 25–07–1904 - Paris, 04–12–1995)
Photographie, Arts graphiques
Bus passant à l'arrêt de bus Cité, la cathédrale Nôtre-Dame au loin, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Zoom
Voiture d'arrosage, "Ville de Paris Voie publique", près de Notre-Dame de Paris, 4ème arrondissement, Paris
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
Zoom
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
Zoom
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
Zoom
Others visuals (3)
Voiture d'arrosage, "Ville de Paris Voie publique", près de Notre-Dame de Paris, 4ème arrondissement, Paris
Atget, Eugène (Jean Eugène Auguste Atget, dit)
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Atget, Eugène (Jean Eugène Auguste Atget, dit) (Libourne, 12–02–1857 - Paris, 04–08–1927)
Photographie, Arts graphiques
Voiture d'arrosage, "Ville de Paris Voie publique", près de Notre-Dame de Paris, 4ème arrondissement, Paris
Zoom
Voiture balayeuse, près de Notre-Dame de Paris, 4ème arrondissement, Paris
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
Zoom
Others visuals (2)
Voiture balayeuse, près de Notre-Dame de Paris, 4ème arrondissement, Paris
Atget, Eugène (Jean Eugène Auguste Atget, dit)
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Atget, Eugène (Jean Eugène Auguste Atget, dit) (Libourne, 12–02–1857 - Paris, 04–08–1927)
Photographie, Arts graphiques
Voiture balayeuse, près de Notre-Dame de Paris, 4ème arrondissement, Paris

NOTRE DAME: WITNESS TO MODERNITY

Notre Dame de Paris saw the installation of a new type of transportation with a bright future: the Paris metro.  From 1905 to 1907, work on Line 4 totally disrupted the usual way of circulating between the left and right banks of the Seine, which were linked for the first time by a tunnel under the river. On the proposed projects, there was a striking contrast between the Gothic cathedral, symbol of continuity, and the modern engineering structures, symbols of rupture. The flood of 1910 is also an event that became anchored in the collective memory. Notre Dame was affected by the rise in river water, which flooded the underground levels of the sacristy and the presbytery (article in the Petit Parisien dated January 27, 1910).

 

Finally, in this early part of the century, the threat of a German invasion floated in the air. To protect Notre Dame, impressive piles of sandbags were placed around the cathedral, in particular against the sculpted portals. In spite of this precaution, German aviation and artillery would damage certain monuments, of which Notre Dame would be affected.

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Travaux du métro entre le pont Saint Michel et le Petit Pont, novembre 1906, à l’arrière plan, le haut de Notre-Dame
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
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© Musée Carnavalet / Ville de Paris
X
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Others visuals (2)
Travaux du métro entre le pont Saint Michel et le Petit Pont, novembre 1906, à l’arrière plan, le haut de Notre-Dame
Jouas, Charles
Dating
En 11–1906
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Jouas, Charles (Paris, 05–12–1866 - 14–05–1942)
Dessin, Arts graphiques
Travaux du métro entre le pont Saint Michel et le Petit Pont, novembre 1906, à l’arrière plan, le haut de Notre-Dame
Zoom
Construction du chemin de fer métropolitain municipal de Paris : jonction des caissons du petit bras et raccordement sur la rive gauche, vue générale en direction de la cathédrale Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement
Reproduction : Musée Carnavalet / Parisienne de Photographie
X
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Other visual (1)
Construction du chemin de fer métropolitain municipal de Paris : jonction des caissons du petit bras et raccordement sur la rive gauche, vue générale en direction de la cathédrale Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement
Anonyme
Dating
En 28–05–1909
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Anonyme
Photographie, Arts graphiques
Construction du chemin de fer métropolitain municipal de Paris : jonction des caissons du petit bras et raccordement sur la rive gauche, vue générale en direction de la cathédrale Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement
Zoom
Cathédrale Notre-Dame, vue du quai de la Tournelle, 30 janvier 1910, inondations de 1910, 4ème et 5ème arrondissements.
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
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Other visual (1)
Cathédrale Notre-Dame, vue du quai de la Tournelle, 30 janvier 1910, inondations de 1910, 4ème et 5ème arrondissements.
Pierson, Albert
Dating
30–01–1910
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Pierson, Albert (Vézelise)
Peinture
Cathédrale Notre-Dame, vue du quai de la Tournelle, 30 janvier 1910, inondations de 1910, 4ème et 5ème arrondissements.
Zoom
Portail de Notre-Dame, portail Sainte-Anne recouvert de sacs, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
© Lucien Solignac - Reproduction : Musée Carnavalet / Parisienne de Photographie
X
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
Zoom
Others visuals (2)
Portail de Notre-Dame, portail Sainte-Anne recouvert de sacs, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Solignac, Lucien
Dating
En 1918
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Solignac, Lucien
Photographie, Arts graphiques
Portail de Notre-Dame, portail Sainte-Anne recouvert de sacs, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Zoom
La protection des monuments de Paris pendant la Première guerre mondiales : sacs de sable protégeant les portails de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, 4ème arrondissement, Paris
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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Other visual (1)
La protection des monuments de Paris pendant la Première guerre mondiales : sacs de sable protégeant les portails de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, 4ème arrondissement, Paris
Ménanteau, Godefroy
Dating
Entre 1914 et 1918
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Ménanteau, Godefroy
Arts graphiques, Photographie
La protection des monuments de Paris pendant la Première guerre mondiales : sacs de sable protégeant les portails de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, 4ème arrondissement, Paris
Zoom
Sacs de sable devant le portail de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, île de la Cité, 4ème arrondissement, Paris, juin 1918. Protection des monuments pendant la Grande Guerre, Première guerre mondiale.
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
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Other visual (1)
Sacs de sable devant le portail de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, île de la Cité, 4ème arrondissement, Paris, juin 1918. Protection des monuments pendant la Grande Guerre, Première guerre mondiale.
Ménanteau, Godefroy
Dating
En 06–1918
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Ménanteau, Godefroy
Photographie, Arts graphiques
Sacs de sable devant le portail de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, île de la Cité, 4ème arrondissement, Paris, juin 1918. Protection des monuments pendant la Grande Guerre, Première guerre mondiale.
Zoom
Vue curieuse en perspective la croix indique l'emplacement approximatif où est tombée la bombe celle-ci n'occasionnera que très peu de dégâts. (12-10-14)
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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Other visual (1)
Vue curieuse en perspective la croix indique l'emplacement approximatif où est tombée la bombe celle-ci n'occasionnera que très peu de dégâts. (12-10-14)
Lansiaux, Charles Joseph Antoine
Dating
12–10–1914
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Lansiaux, Charles Joseph Antoine (Aniche, 09–03–1855 - Paris, après 06–04–1939)
Arts graphiques, Photographie
Vue curieuse en perspective la croix indique l'emplacement approximatif où est tombée la bombe celle-ci n'occasionnera que très peu de dégâts. (12-10-14)

NOTRE DAME DE PARIS IN THE HEART OF ARTISTS

Although Paris has a number of remarkable monuments, it would seem that artists particularly favored Notre Dame de Paris. The first representations conserved in the city’s museums date from the sixteenth century. Careful attention to details is relatively important in these works, as well as in the engravings and prints from later centuries. The reproduction of various architectural elements in these works is more or less faithful, depending on factors like point of view or composition of the scene, but the artists generally aim for accuracy.

 

With the evolution of artistic styles, the representation of Notre Dame by artists became more flexible. They strived to suggest the presence of the cathedral more by its contours than through a technical drawing of each part of the monument. Covered with snow, surrounded by clouds, in the moonlight or the noonday sun, the perception of Notre Dame was ceaselessly reinvented by these artists. For them, it was a novel sensorial experience, depending on whether light fell on the limestone walls or the lead roof, bringing out original plays of light and shade at different times of the day. The magnificent Pointillist paintings of Paul Signac, Maximilien Luce and Robert Delaunay illustrate this. We should also note the unique photographic montages made by Bruno Fabien, which are housed at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris. Their visual effects are stunning!

Here are some examples from other collections:
Musée d'Orsay :  Le quai Saint-Michel et Notre-Dame, en 1901, Maximilien Luce
Kunstmuseum BaselLa flèche de Notre-Dame (Vue de Paris, Notre-Dame), Robert Delaunay

 

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"Rue Saint-Jacques", surimpression du Panthéon, de la faculté de droit (avec la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris au loin), 5ème arrondissement, Paris
© Bruno Fabien - Reproduction : Musée Carnavalet / Parisienne de Photographie
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Other visual (1)
"Rue Saint-Jacques", surimpression du Panthéon, de la faculté de droit (avec la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris au loin), 5ème arrondissement, Paris
Fabien, Bruno
Dating
Vers 1985
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Fabien, Bruno (en 1961)
Photographie, Arts graphiques
"Rue Saint-Jacques", surimpression du Panthéon, de la faculté de droit (avec la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris au loin), 5ème arrondissement, Paris
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Un dessinateur et Notre-Dame vue du pont de la Tournelle, printemps 1949, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
© Frédéric Barzilay - Reproduction : Musée Carnavalet / Parisienne de Photographie
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Other visual (1)
Un dessinateur et Notre-Dame vue du pont de la Tournelle, printemps 1949, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Barzilay, Frédéric
Dating
En 1949
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Barzilay, Frédéric (Salonique, 16–04–1917)
Photographie, Arts graphiques
Un dessinateur et Notre-Dame vue du pont de la Tournelle, printemps 1949, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Zoom
Le quai des Orfêvres, le pont Saint-Michel, Notre-Dame, vers 1860 ; effet de nuit, actuels 1er et 4ème arrondissements.
© Musée Carnavalet / Roger-Viollet
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Other visual (1)
Le quai des Orfêvres, le pont Saint-Michel, Notre-Dame, vers 1860 ; effet de nuit, actuels 1er et 4ème arrondissements.
Anonyme
Dating
Entre 1855 et 1865
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Anonyme
Peinture
Le quai des Orfêvres, le pont Saint-Michel, Notre-Dame, vers 1860 ; effet de nuit, actuels 1er et 4ème arrondissements.
Zoom
"Carapace", gargouille de Notre-Dame, vue des toits de Notre-Dame de Paris et détail de sculpture en surimpression, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
© Bruno Fabien - Reproduction : Musée Carnavalet / Parisienne de Photographie
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Other visual (1)
"Carapace", gargouille de Notre-Dame, vue des toits de Notre-Dame de Paris et détail de sculpture en surimpression, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Fabien, Bruno
Dating
Vers 1985
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Fabien, Bruno (en 1961)
Photographie, Arts graphiques
"Carapace", gargouille de Notre-Dame, vue des toits de Notre-Dame de Paris et détail de sculpture en surimpression, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.

A TIMELESS AND TUTELARY MONUMENT

With a universally familiar silhouette, Notre Dame de Paris is one of the city’s emblematic monuments. Whenever it appears in a work, whether in the foreground or as part of the background, it immediately identifies Paris. One of the oldest representations of the city can be seen on a Flemish painting from the sixteenth century that is kept in the Carnavalet Museum. On it, the cathedral is the key element that enables identifying the city where the scene takes place.  It appeared on the one-franc bill from the Banque de Commerce in 1920, next to the famous ship from the Paris coat of arms. In a satirical drawing by Jospin on the value of the franc, it symbolizes Paris all by itself, just like the Tower Bridge symbolizes London. The print of picturesque Paris made by Jules Perrichon in 1897 shows that a mere suggestion of the apse enables us to recognize the cathedral.

Artists used it in allegories as a representative of the city: Adolphe Willette painted an allegory of Paris, who wears her crenellated crown, in a melancholy pose with her elbows nonchalantly placed on Notre Dame. The two other elements in this composition are the July Column topped by the Spirit of the Bastille and a barricade in the foreground, symbols of rupture that counterbalance the solidity and stability of the venerable cathedral. Although it is merely a dark and far-away contour in the allegory of the city of Paris by Louise Abbéma, Notre Dame does not lose its evocative power.

Zoom
Billet de 1 franc de la chambre de commerce de Paris, A.2, 080722, vers 1920
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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Others visuals (2)
Billet de 1 franc de la chambre de commerce de Paris, A.2, 080722, vers 1920
Chambre de commerce de Paris
Dating
Vers 1920
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Chambre de commerce de Paris
Numismatique, Manuscrits, imprimés, reliure
Billet de 1 franc de la chambre de commerce de Paris, A.2, 080722, vers 1920
Zoom
Allégorie de la Ville de Paris
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
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Others visuals (8)
Allégorie de la Ville de Paris
Abbéma, Louise
Dating
En 1901
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Abbéma, Louise (Etampes, 30–10–1853 - Paris, en 1927)
Peinture
Allégorie de la Ville de Paris

VICTOR HUGO AND THE REDISCOVERY OF NOTRE DAME

Firmly set in the heart of Paris for centuries, immutable Notre Dame could have turned into a sleeping beauty. But in the nineteenth century, The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo revived interest in the cathedral, from the French and the entire world alike.

 

The novel was published by Hugo in 1831 as part of his fight to safeguard the remains of “Old France” that he felt to be endangered. Relying on his intimate knowledge of the building, he paid tribute to the Romanesque and Gothic masterpiece and, above all, highlighted the genius of those who built it. “Time is the architect,” he wrote, “the people are the mason.” It is more than merely a church; the poet reveals it to be a “monument of national heritage” and the soul of a city.

 

The cathedral is inhabited by the main characters: the one-eyed and deaf hunchback Quasimodo, who is its monstrous soul, and Esmeralda, whom he secretly loves. She is the feminine aspect of the novel, the incarnation of beauty, freedom, and innocence, but also the plaything and victim of violent rival loves.

 

The novel was a great success. When it was published, it provoked an abundance of images—paintings, engravings and, later, photographs—that would make the cathedral known worldwide. The novel was translated into many languages and adapted for opera, theater and film, an animated cartoon and a musical comedy. It has become the edifice itself: for many, the cathedral is unfailingly associated to Victor Hugo and his characters.

Zoom
Trois cœurs d'homme faits différemment (Livres VIII, Chapitre VI)
Maison de Victor Hugo - Hauteville House / Ville de Paris
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Other visual (1)
Notre-Dame de Paris (V.Hugo)
Trois cœurs d'homme faits différemment (Livres VIII, Chapitre VI)
Merson, Luc-Olivier
Dating
Vers 1888 — 1889
Museum
Maison de Victor Hugo - Hauteville House
Merson, Luc-Olivier (Paris, 21–05–1846 - 14–11–1920)
Manuscrits, imprimés, reliure, Arts graphiques
Trois cœurs d'homme faits différemment (Livres VIII, Chapitre VI)

FROM A HIGH POINT OF VIEW

For centuries, Notre Dame was the highest monument in the capital. From the top of its 69-meter-tall towers and after climbing some 422 steps, visitors have a broad view of the city. It is the preferred point of observation, extraordinary and central, for admiring one of the most beautiful panoramas of Paris.

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Vue des tours de Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
© Henri Cartier-Bresson - Reproduction : Musée Carnavalet / Parisienne de Photographie
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Other visual (1)
Vue des tours de Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Cartier-Bresson, Henri
Dating
En 1952
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Cartier-Bresson, Henri (Chanteloup-en-Brie, 22–08–1908 — 1908 - Montjustin, 03–08–2004 — 2004)
Photographie, Arts graphiques
Vue des tours de Notre-Dame, 4ème arrondissement, Paris.
Zoom
Vue prise du haut de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, coté sud, en regardant vers l'ouest, la rive gauche, 4ème et 5ème arrondissements.
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
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Other visual (1)
Vue prise du haut de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, coté sud, en regardant vers l'ouest, la rive gauche, 4ème et 5ème arrondissements.
Anonyme
Dating
Entre 1925 et 1935
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Anonyme
Photographie
Vue prise du haut de la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, coté sud, en regardant vers l'ouest, la rive gauche, 4ème et 5ème arrondissements.
Zoom
Soirée du 10 décembre 1848 : illumination sur les tours de Notre-Dame, à l'occasion du plébiscite
© Musée Carnavalet / Roger-Viollet
X
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CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
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Others visuals (2)
Soirée du 10 décembre 1848 : illumination sur les tours de Notre-Dame, à l'occasion du plébiscite
Champin, Jean-Jacques
Dating
10–12–1848
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Champin, Jean-Jacques (Sceaux, 08–09–1796 - Paris, 25–02–1860)
Peinture
Soirée du 10 décembre 1848 : illumination sur les tours de Notre-Dame, à l'occasion du plébiscite
Zoom
La sirène de Notre-Dame et les projecteurs sur Paris en 1918, vue prise d'une des tours de Notre-Dame
CC0 Paris Musées / Musée Carnavalet
X
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Other visual (1)
La sirène de Notre-Dame et les projecteurs sur Paris en 1918, vue prise d'une des tours de Notre-Dame
Busset, Maurice
Dating
En 1918
Museum
Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris
Busset, Maurice (Clermont-Ferrand, 18–12–1879 - Clermont-Ferrand, 30–04–1936)
Dessin, Arts graphiques
La sirène de Notre-Dame et les projecteurs sur Paris en 1918, vue prise d'une des tours de Notre-Dame
ANIMATED STEREOSCOPIC VIEWS
réalisation : Quentin Bidault

Mostly forgotten today, stereoscopic photography was a popular technique in the second half of the nineteenth century. It enabled in-depth vision and was the first type of 3D shot!

A stereoscopic view is made from two photos that appear to be the same but are not quite identical. There is a slight change in angle between them that corresponds to the angles seen by our eyes, which are separated by a few centimeters. This enables us to perceive depth and distance. When inserted into a stereoscope, which is a special device for viewing, the stereoscopic view appears. The two images become one and we see the scene as if were in three dimensions.

Since we do not have a stereoscope, we have animated these views of Notre Dame to give you an idea of depth. It is a novel way to discover Notre Dame seen from Quai de la Tourelle and the former Rue Neuve-Notre-Dame, a view of the top of the cathedral around 1930, or progress on a renovation undertaken by Viollet-le-Duc. This renovation also provides us with chronological markers. Statues are gradually restored to the Gallery of Kings, and a new spire appears only toward the end, in 1860.

TO CONTINUE THIS VIRTUAL EXHIBITION

This exhibition was designed and written by the Department of Collections (Hugo Cador, Lise Mész and Charles Villeneuve de Janti), with the participation of the museum teams and with online implementation by the Digital Service. 

It relies mainly on: 

Site officiel de Notre-Dame de Paris (Official site of Notre Dame de Paris)

Espace dédié à Notre-Dame de Paris sur le site de la BnF (Pages dedicated to Notre Dame de Paris on the BnF site)

 

To continue your visit: 

Dossier thématique sur le site de la Médiathèque de l'architecture et du Patrimoine (Topical folder on the media library site for architecture and architectural heritage)

Vidéo "Notre-Dame du numérique" : reportage du CNRS (“Notre-Dame du numérique” video: CNRS report)

Captations de conférences par la Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine  (Lecture excerpts from La Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine)

Conférences de L'Institut National du Patrimoine sur France Culture (Lectures from the Institut National du Patrimoine on France Culture)

Dossier thématique sur le portail des bibliothèques municipales spécialisées (BHVP) (Topical folder on the portal of specialized municipal libraries (BHVP))

Portail Scientifiques de Notre-Dame (Notre Dame scientific portals)

Dossier thématique sur le site de l'INRAP : "Les archéologues de l'INRAP mobilisés" (Topical folder on the INRAP site: "Les archéologues de l'INRAP mobilisés” (Mobilization of INRAP Archeologists))

 

Site officiel de l’Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (Official site of the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel)

Site de L’ Histoire par l’image (“L’Histoire par l’image” site)

Plateforme institutionnelle Persée (Persée institutional platform)

Collections numérisées de la bibliothèque de l’Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA) (Digitized collections of the library of the National Institute of Art History (INHA))

 

A UNIQUE TRIP TO NOTRE DAME OF PARIS: 360° EXTRACT FROM THE UBISOFT VR EXPERIENCE

“On the first anniversary of the devastating fire in the cathedral, Ubisoft has put a 360° visit to the famous edifice online at YouTube. With this video, it’s possible to make an immersive visit of the cathedral as it appeared at the time of the French Revolution. The studio has extracted the 3D models it made for the development of one of its flagship games: Assassin’s Creed: Unity.” Learn more

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