Attributed to Henri Le Secq (French, 1818-1882)
"Église Métropolitaine de Notre-Dame XIIe Siècle", circa 1852
Blanquart-Evrard process salt print from a paper negative
22.4 x 31.9 cm mounted on 39.0 x 50.0 cm paper
Title with "Paris Photographique / Blanquart Evrard, Editeur / Imprimerie Photographique Blanquart Evrard á Lille" printed on mount
At the eastern end of the Ile de la Cite is the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, perhaps the most famous of the French Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Built on the ruins of two earlier churches, themselves preceded by a Gallo-Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter. Maurice de Sully, bishop of Paris, conceived the idea of converting the ruins of the two earlier basilicas into a single building around 1160; the foundation stone was laid by Pope Alexander III in 1163. Victor Hugo's 1831 Gothic novel The Huncback of Notre Dame drew attention to the cathedral, influencing Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, the architect who began an elaborate restoration of the cathedral in 1843.
This apse-side view of Notre-Dame may have inspired Charles Meryon's classic 1854 etching and dry point.