In Pictures: Notre Dame’s last 200 years captured in photographs

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Since Notre Dame was engulfed by a devastating fire last year, images of the Gothic cathedral set ablaze have flooded the internet. Now, an online exhibition charts the 200-year history of the building through newly released photographs, paying tribute to the emotive power of the striking building and its ability to survive. The photos, taken from the Conway Library at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London, show the cathedral before, during and after its mid-19th century restoration by Viollet-le-Duc.

A project to provide a digitised version of the Conway Library, which holds approximately one million photographic and printed images of architecture, sculpture and medieval painting is also underway.

The full online exhibition can be found here

Click here to read more on our coverage on the Cathedral of Notre Dame

Notre-Dame, Paris, west front. Print by J. Coney (1830)

The following two images were made by British artists travelling in France in the early 19th century and are less well known than the many images of the cathedral pre-restoration that were printed in France. This print by John Coney, the architectural draughtsman and engraver shows the west front of the cathedral in its pre-restoration state.

Frederick Nash's Notre-Dame, Paris, from the south. Lithograph by John Byne: proof print for Longman and Co (c.1820)

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This image by the draughtsman and painter Frederick Nash shows the battered state of the south side of the cathedral in the early 19th century. It also shows the chapel of the palace of the bishops of Paris, commissioned by Bishop Maurice de Sully alongside his new cathedral in the 1160s.

Notre-Dame, Paris, view of east end. Unknown photographer. Printed by Blanquard-Evrard, Blanquard-Evrard technique: 32.5cm x 23cm. Photograph taken late 1840s. This shows works on the east end.

When Viollet-le-Duc began his restoration of the cathedral in 1844, photography was in its infancy. Between 1847 and 1851, Blanquard-Evrard, a printer based in Lille, developed a new photographic technique to produce prints on salt-soaked paper from paper negatives. In 1851, he set up a short-lived company in Lille to publish images using this technique, including photographs of construction at Notre-Dame

Albumen print: 33.5cm x 26cm. Photograph taken c. 1860. Notre-Dame, Paris, view of the east end. Unknown photographer.

This photo shows the cathedral under reconstruction around 1860. The roof now has cresting and extra lucarnes (dormer windows), though the spire is still not in place. The nave aisle chapels and nave buttresses have been heavily restored.

Notre-Dame, Paris, west front, central portal archivolts (c.1853) Albumen print: Bisson Frères.

This up-close photograph was taken from scaffolding as works took place on the tympanum (decorated wall surface) of the west portal

J. M Stewart's Notre-Dame, Paris, west front, (c. 1911)

This image comes from a collection of photographs and negatives given to the Conway Library by the Leicester Museum in 1959. The photographer, J.M. Stewart, who was a doctor by profession, visited Paris in the early 20th ceRead More – Source

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