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Notre-Dame de Paris: From Victor Hugo to Eugène Viollet-le-Duc

Archaeological Crypt of the Île de la Cité, Paris

9 Sep 2020 - 9 Sep 2022

The archaeological crypt of the Île de la Cité is reopening for the first time since the fire at Notre-Dame with an exhibition on the history of the cathedral in the 19th century. It begins with the publication of Victor Hugo’s best-selling novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which raised public awareness of this masterpiece of Gothic architecture, then in a parlous state, and inspired a campaign for its restoration. With a number of early photographs of the cathedral, the exhibition looks at the renovations of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who added both the famous spire and a series of stone gargoyles on the upper gallery (partly inspired by illustrations found in an edition of Hugo’s Hunchback). The display also considers how the global success of the novel – not to mention its adaptation by Disney – has cemented a certain image of the cathedral in the public imagination, and includes a number of contemporary artists’ responses to Notre-Dame. Find out more from the Paris Musées website

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here

Quasimodo Saving Esmeralda from the Hands of Her Executioners (1832), Eugénie Henry épouse Latil.

Quasimodo Saving Esmeralda from the Hands of Her Executioners (1832), Eugénie Henry. Photo: © Maisons de Victor Hugo/Roger-Viollet

Souvenir (c. 1864), Victor Hugo.

Souvenir (c. 1864), Victor Hugo. Photo: © Maisons de Victor Hugo/Roger-Viollet

Le Stryge (c. 1853), Charles Nègre.

Le Stryge (c. 1853), Charles Nègre. Photo: © Maisons de Victor Hugo/Roger-Viollet

Paris (04) (2017; from the series Photo Opportunities/Paris, 2005-ongoing), Corinne Vionnet.

Paris (04) (2017; from the series Photo Opportunities/Paris, 2005–ongoing), Corinne Vionnet. Collection du musée Carnavalet – Histoire de Paris; © Corinne Vionnet

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