Let the France photos begin! Over the next month I'm slowly going to be sharing the art and architecture from my week in Paris. First up: Notre-Dame de Paris. It's a medieval Catholic cathedral and widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic Architecture. The cathedral is also filled with art of all kinds -- statues, woodworking, paintings, stained glass, and more! In this first photo note how the shadow of the angel looks oddly gargoyle-esque....
I'm thinking that maybe all the ceilings in my life should be painted like the one above!
The more contemporary painting above surprised me. I think of art in churches as being of one particular period and type. Shame on me.
It's a beauty! So here are some artist-brain thoughts after wandering through Notre-Dame:
- Religious art has been something that I've glanced over in most museums. Occasionally all the gold leafing makes me stop and look because, like a magpie, I like shiny things. However, seeing all the art in situ, I was blown away by how the gold bits behaved. Lit mostly with the sun through the windows and lots of candles, the gold bits were emphasized in a way I had never seen in a museum. It made me think a little bit harder about what portions of the work the artists had decided to paint gold: halos, patterns on clothing, lines of sight, etc. These artists knew the environment their work was going to be displayed in and created the work to reflect (pun intended) that environment.
- The storytelling in the wood carvings, in the stained glass, in so much of the artwork was lovely. I was reminded of art's power to communicate. As I continue to work on becoming a better artist I find that more and more I want my work to have meaning. I want it to be more than just pleasant to look at.
- Why is art such a central part of the places we worship? I have a lot of theories. This cathedral was designed to create a sense of wonder, of awe, of peace. Art has the power to transform spaces in that way. It's one of the many reasons that empty walls in homes make me so sad. Art makes any space feel more alive.
What are your artist-brain thoughts after looking at these photos?
Thanks for stopping by!