On April 15, 2019, a devastating fire tore through the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, the most beloved and iconic of all Gothic buildings. Largely through the heroic efforts of Paris firefighters, the building was spared the total destruction that at one point seemed inevitable. However, the damage was extensive. Despite early negative forecasts and complications due to the pandemic, the reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris is well underway, and the restored building will look as much like the old one as possible. Almost every year since the fire, I have written something about the cathedral's current condition and the status of the restoration. You can find it all in this post.
Here are fifteen entertaining, informative, and highly readable art-related books that I have personally read and loved.
As I'm sure all of you know by now, the Gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris caught on fire yesterday and suffered extensive damage. Yesterday's events made me appreciate what a true miracle it is that any ancient treasures survive at all. But just because they've gotten this far doesn't mean that they will always be around.
Want to enjoy great architecture from your couch? I recently discovered a host of virtual tours of famous works of architecture. How cool is that? While you can never truly experience a place from a computer screen, it's nice to have the option when travelling to the site in person isn't in your schedule (or budget). All of the tours listed are 360° experiences, not just pictures.
Gothic (and Gothic-style) abound in church architecture around the world. But what exactly are its characteristics? Learn the stylistic attributes and historical context of Gothic architecture.
It wouldn't be Halloween if I didn't write at least once about creepy creatures in art. (Did you really think I wasn't going to do it this year?) Well, HeadStuff just posted my article "Halloween Creatures in Five Centuries of Art", in which I take a look at how imaginings of witches, vampires, demons, and… Continue reading Halloween Creatures in Five Centuries of Art (HeadStuff)
This gargoyle on Reims Cathedral seems to have had a head transplant some time since the Middle Ages! The concept is actually not that unusual, since centuries of running water often erode functioning gargoyles over time. It's difficult to tell from this photo if the replacement was done in metal or a differently-colored stone. Either way, the end result… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Reims Cathedral, France
This grotesque is on the west portal of Chartres Cathedral - among the grandest and most famous of all French Gothic churches. While its close cousin in Paris is famous for its gargoyles, Chartres is celebrated for its beautiful stained glass and profuse sculptural decoration. Much of this sculptural work is clustered around its nine arched doors (portals);… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Chartres Cathedral, France
Today's grotesque is a true classic. The gargoyles of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris are neither the oldest nor the most interesting of their kind, but they have certainly become the most famous. The interior and exterior of this church, which was a major milestone in the history of Gothic architecture, were both rather creatively restored by Gothic Revival proponent… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Notre Dame de Paris
mouth puller grotesque Two weeks ago, I talked about the mouth puller grotesque and how common he can be in Gothic architecture. The grotesque above belongs to a related type - the thorn puller, who struggles to pull a thorn or some other painful irritant out of his foot. The thorn puller appears in many different… Continue reading Gargoyle of the Day: Wells Cathedral, Somerset, UK