Notre Dame Cathedral: Beauty in Flames
A few days before Easter 2019 we all watched in shock as fire enveloped a great monument of Christian architecture, Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. Just a few days before I had discussed with my two homeschool co-op classes about Pope Benedict XVI’s charge to be “custodians of beauty”. In his address to artists in 2009 he tasked artists with the responsibility of being “custodians of beauty”. I strongly believe the call is to all of us.
”Beauty, like truth, brings joy to the human heart, and is that precious fruit which resists the erosion of time, which unites generations and enables them to be one in admiration. And all this through the work of your hands… Remember that you are the custodians of beauty in the world.Pope Benedict XVI
Bishop Barron’s video discussing the Notre Dame Rose Window explains this very well.
What is Gothic Architecture?
Focus and Fancy
I spent most of the last year in driven focus on completing a series of oil paintings based on the architectural images and metaphors I found in our last trip to Italy. Since the exhibit “Divine Dimensions” opened at 20North Gallery in Toledo last week I have been busy with a stomach bug, Easter, and a few opportunities to take a deep breath.
But I can’t stay out of the studio for too long, and the question always becomes “what next”? What is my new focus?
In order to find it I need to permit myself follow whatever artistic whims I might have. On Tuesday I needed to make watercolors of early morning landscape. On Thursday it was this drawing of Notre Dame. For a moment these two things feel scattered and unrelated, but I have painted landscapes and drawn architecture for decades now. It is a form of anchoring myself to my time and place. Accepting that I need to un-focus and play in order to find the next path is hard for me, even as I grow to understand my process more and more as I get older.
Does this image spark memories for you? Prints are available in a variety of sizes. Gift one to a loved one or travel companion today.