2019 An Image A Day: Travels, Landscapes, Birds, Wildlife & People - birdshooter

Holy Arches

The largest city in France's Normandy is Rouen. Rouen has one of the most impressive Gothic cathedrals that I've ever seen.
In the heart of the historic city, the cathedral has been the epitome of the development of Gothic art, since the start of its construction in the 12th century on the foundations of a 4th century basislica and an 11th century Romanesque edifice. Destroyed during the Viking invasions in 841 and, partially, in 1944, by allied bombardments, the cathedral is a living structure, perpetually evolving. Its 19th century cast iron spire rises to a height of 151 metres (the highest in France). The cathedral is also the only one in France to possess an adjoining archiepiscopal palace still occupied by an archbishop today. The choir of the cathedral contains the tombs of the Dukes of Normandy, including that of Rollon, founder of the duchy in 911, and the heart of Richard the Lionheart, King of England and Duke of Normandy.

Monet painted more than thirty views of Rouen Cathedral in 1892–93. Moving from one canvas to another as each day progressed, he painted the facade with highly textured brushstrokes that convey the aspect of sculpted stone and make the atmosphere and light palpable. Monet later finished the works in his studio at Giverny, carefully adjusting the pictures both independently and in relation to each other. Hence, most are signed and dated 1894, as is this example. In 1895, Monet exhibited twenty of his cathedral pictures at Galerie Durand-Ruel in Paris.