“The Seine and Notre-Dame in Paris”
by Johan Jongkind
“The Seine and Notre-Dame in Paris” by Johan Jongkind depicts the Seine and Notre-Dame on the horizon. The majority of the canvas is reserved for the sky reflecting Jongkind’s Dutch background where he trained in the tradition of the seventeenth-century Dutch landscapists. After Jongkind moved to France, he was influenced by nineteenth-century French landscape artists, particularly Corot, whose luminous atmospheres Jongkind greatly admired.
In the 1860s, Jongkind met the young Claude Monet in Normandy and who was fascinated by Jongkind’s ability to catch fleeting variations in the weather in his watercolours. Monet later said of Jongkind:
“He was the one who really trained my eye…”
Jongkind did not exhibit with the Impressionists, but he is today regarded as one of their precursors. Several elements in this painting suggest this relationship such as the vibrant reflections of the water and the fragmented brushstrokes. Jongkind is considered as being positioned between Corot and Monet in the developments towards Impressionists art.
Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819 – 1891) was a Dutch painter who painted marine landscapes in a free manner and is regarded as a forerunner of Impressionism. His most frequent subject was the marine landscape, and many of his works depict the Seine, particularly the area near Notre-Dame Cathedral. He painted watercolours out-of-doors and used them as sketches for oil paintings made in his studio. Energetic brushwork and sharp contrasts characterise his paintings. Like the 17th-century Dutch landscape painters, he typically composed his landscapes with a low horizon, allowing the sky to dominate.
Notre-Dame de Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris means “Our Lady of Paris” and is also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame. It is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in Paris, France. The cathedral is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. The innovative use of the rib vault and the flying buttress, the enormous and colourful rose windows, and the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration all set it apart from earlier Romanesque architecture.
The cathedral was begun in 1160 and mostly completed by 1260, though it was modified often in the following centuries. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris. Today, Notre-Dame is the most visited monument in Paris, with over 12 million visitors yearly.
- Outside and in front of Notre-Dame is a marker with a bronze star, it is the point from which the distances are measured from Paris to all other cities in France.
The Seine and Notre-Dame in Paris
- Title: The Seine and Notre-Dame in Paris
- Français: La Seine et Notre-Dame de Paris
- Artist: Johan Jongkind
- Year: 1864
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Dimensions: 42 x 56,5 cm,
- Museum: Musée d’Orsay, Paris
- Artist: Johan Barthold Jongkind
- Born: 1819, Lattrop, Netherlands
- Died: 1891, Saint-Égrève, France
- Nationality: Dutch
- Notable works:
Notre Dame Cathedral
- Notre Dame is 130 meters long, 48 meters wide, 35 meters high.
- The rose windows have a diameter of 10 meters.
- The cathedrals pillars have a diameter of 5 meters.
- Notre Dame de Paris was built between 1163 and 1345.
- The cathedral was one of the earliest structures built with exterior flying buttresses.
- Notre Dame’s twin towers have 387 steps to climb.
- The largest bell in Notre Dame is the Emmanuel Bell and was created in 1681.
- The Emmanuel Bell is rung to mark the hours each day and on special occasions.
- The Notre-Dame organ has almost 8000 pipes, some dating back to the 18th century, which is played with five keyboards.
- The stained glass windows in Notre Dame are original to its construction in the 1200s.
- In 1793, during the French Revolution, 28 statues of biblical kings in the cathedral were pulled down with ropes and decapitated by a mob.
- Victor Hugo’s novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1831, was popular and significantly increased interest in the building.
- The Île-de-la-Cité on which Notre-Dame de Paris now stands was once a Gallo-Roman city known as Lutetia.
- The cathedral may have been built over remnants of an ancient temple.
- In 1710, pieces of a sculpted altar dedicated to Jupiter and other deities were discovered during excavations.
- The cathedral has one of the oldest surviving wood-timber frames in Paris, consisting of around 52 acres of trees that were cut down in the 12th century.
- Each beam in the cathedral wood-timber frame is made from an individual tree.
- During the French Revolution, the cathedral was transformed in the late 18th century and rededicated to the Revolution’s new Cult of Reason.
- During the French Revolution, all 20 of its bells, except for the colossal Emmanuel, were removed and melted down to make cannons.
- Notre-Dame’s gargoyles or chimaera, the carved monsters that don’t act as waterspouts, were added between 1843 and 1864 during a radical restoration.
- Outside the Notre-Dame is a circular marker with a bronze star embedded in the cobblestones. It is point zero, from which the distances are measured from Paris to other cities in France.
“Whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant.”
– Honoré de Balzac
Photo Credit: 1) Johan Jongkind [Public domain]