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Visual & Performing Arts
Research Paper
English (U.S.)
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Notre Dame Chathedral (Research Paper Sample)

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Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre-Dame can today be referred as the most important image in the French gothic art. The Paris facade seems protected into a severe pattern, with reserved formal shifts and controlled movement in deepness. Rather than generating strong vertical energy, the portals, windows, and tracery gallery of its main block are gathered into a square, subdivided by a few strong vertical and horizontal elements into a grid like pattern with the rose window at the center. The massive strength of the front wall is unforgettable, but its tolerance is less than obvious. Yet, it is present in the academic rigor, intense sculptural concentration, and fine sequence of weight and texture from the lower to the upper parts of the structure (Smith 70).
This cathedral in Paris is more than seven hundred years old and it stands in one of the most sacred places in France. Even before Julius Caesar, the Celtic Druids offered their religious sacrifices in this island (Smith 19). When the Roman Empire conquered this region, a temple was constructed in the same place and dedicated to Jupiter. During the reign of king Childebert I, in 528AD, the Christians built a basilica that they dedicated to St. Etienne. Later on, the basilica was replaced by a church in the Romanesque style which stood until the year 1163AD. It was around this time when the Bishop of Paris, Maurice de Sully laid a foundation stone of this famous well known structure today. It was dedicated to “our lady” (Notre Dame in French). The intention of this was to confirm Paris as dominant centre of Christendom (Murray 12). The bishop was really impressed by the outcome of the work and thought it will increase the status of the capital. He is known to have devoted wealth and energies in the construction and beautification of the cathedral (Murray 34).
The construction of the current building of the cathedral started in the year 1163. It was in the reign of King Louis VII. The western side of the cathedral, which supports the two towers, began around 1200. Different architects worked in different sections of the cathedral; this is evident by the difference in style and height of the west side and front towers (Messiaen 77). In the year between 1210 and 1220 a different architect took over and he ensured the completion of the rose window and the great halls that are beneath the towers. By the year 1245 the towers where fully compete and it was not until 1345 when the cathedral was fully completed (Messiaen 77).
In 17th century,...
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