Notre Dame

Paris, France

Burned 2019

The Disappointed Tourist: Notre Dame, Ellen Harvey, 2023. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

I really like France and I want to go there again. Last time when I was in Paris I haven’t seen Notre Dame Cathedral because of time. Later I’ve read about fire… In my opinion it was the most beautiful gothic building and even if I know, that it’ll be rebuild I miss that original one. Barbara W.

Notre Dame de Paris (Our Lady of Paris) is a medieval Catholic cathedral in Paris. It’s construction started in 1163 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely completed by 1260, although it has been much modified since. It is considered to be one of the finest examples of  French Gothic architecture and is one of the most visited and best known tourist attractions in Paris. The wooden roof of the cathedral caught fire in 2019 during renovation and burned for 15 hours resulting in extensive damage, including the total destruction of the wooden lead-covered roof. After considerable controversy and several proposals to modernize the cathedral, the French National Assembly passed a law in 2019 stating that the renovation of the roof must its “historic, artistic and architectural interest.” The building has been stabilized and reconstruction commenced in 2021 with an anticipated completion date of 2024. The painting is based on an uncredited photograph.