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.

 

Picasso

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)

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“Sur la face de cette vieille reine de nos cathédrales, à côté d’une ride on trouve toujours une cicatrice. Tempus edax, homo edacior. Ce que je traduirais volontiers ainsi : le temps est aveugle, l’homme est stupide. Victor Hugo, Notre-Dame de Paris. ……………………………,…………………Durante a Revolução Francesa, Notre-Dame foi tomada por revolucionários, seu Pináculo foi demolido, estátuas vandalizadas, o chumbo do telhado foi utilizado para a confecção de balas e alguns sinos foram derretidos para serem transformados em canhões. Foi somente em 1831, com a publicação do romance, O Corcunda de Notre-Dame que a opinião pública influiu a formação de uma comissão para monumentos históricos que culminou na restauração da igreja em 1841 dirigida por Viollet-le-Duc and Lassus. O pináculo, e a sacristia foram reconstruídos e as esculturas do interior e da fachada e os vitrais refeitos. A catedral foi rededicada em maio de 1864 pelo arcebispo de Paris. Tudo o que foi feito, pode ser refeito. No caso de Notre-Dame, precisou um artista, atrair a atenção do povo para a beleza invisível das coisas que nos parecem eternas. É a função do artista, especialmente neste mundo pleno de distrações, de fazer o mesmo, por tudo o que seja belo sem parecer ser, antes que seja tarde demais. Com essa tragédia, a obra de arte nos ensina o preço que pagamos por acreditar na eternidade das coisas. ……………….Photo por Hippolyte Bayard, “Notre-Dame de Paris durante a reconstrução, 1847.

A post shared by Vik Muniz (@vikmuniz) on

 

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)

 


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