Main content

backstory: Painted testimonies

On Monday night, obsessively google-image looking at the fire in Paris, I came across, instead, a painting of Notre Dame by Childe Hassam, a stunning scene of the Cathedral.  

I thought, “that’s better.”  And I started looking for paintings of the Cathedral rather than images of it on fire.  Beautiful images started to pop up, works by well-known and less well-known artists.  Images of the façade or the flying buttresses, streets scenes in which the towers hover around a winding bend in the road, distant images in which the Cathedral looms over the city.  Nightscapes, flowering spring scenes, moody scenes like Hassam’s. These images can’t bring back the spire or the roof or what was lost inside, but they are painted testimonies to the beauty and glory of the Cathedral.