To Pay Homage to Notre Dame, the Art World Turns to Images of the Famed Cathedral by Picasso, Matisse, and Others—See Them Here

The art world is paying a visual tribute to the ravaged cathedral by posting their favorite depictions of Notre Dame throughout art history.

Smoke and flames rise during a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019. (Photo by FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFP)

As flames consumed the roof of Notre Dame and threatened to destroy the great Gothic cathedral, curators, architects, artists and other figures in the art world took to social media to express their horror at the destruction and hope that it could be saved.

They posted images of Notre Dame in an art-historical tribute that range from Picasso’s darkly cubist painting of the cathedral, which he completed at the end of World War II, to the monument’s famous silhouette as painted by Matisse in 1914, which is in the collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The curator Marco Livingstone, who was among the first responders, posted Edward Hopper’s 1907 oil on canvas in the Whitney Museum’s collection, and another apt painting, Robert Delaunay’s watercolor of the spire under a glowering sky.

Other Instagrammers reached for great photographers’ images of Notre Dame before the fire to convey to their sadness, including classics by 19th-century pioneers Hippolyte Bayard, and Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey.

Damien Hirst, meanwhile, is thinking of the French capital the day after the great fire, posting Paris (2014), one of his surgical scalpel cityscapes. The artist did not refer to Notre Dame, which is out of the aerial view, but it’s the thought that counts.     

Here are nine of the best.



Vue de Notre-Dame de Paris (1945)


Robert Delaunay,

The Spire of Notre-Dame (1909)


Henri Matisse

View of Notre-Dame (1914)


Hippolyte Bayard

Notre-Dame During Reconstruction (1847)


Albert Marquet

Notre-Dame Under Snow (around 1912)

Jean Fouquete

Hours of Etienne Chevalier (1450s) 


Victor Hugo

Notre-Dame (undated drawing)

Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey

Rose Window, Notre-Dame Cathedral (1841)


Damien Hirst

Paris (2014)


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.