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“Fragment of the interior of Notre Dame in Paris” by Konrad Krzyżanowski

"Fragment of the interior of Notre Dame in Paris" by Konrad Krzyżanowski

“Fragment of the interior of Notre Dame

in Paris” by Konrad Krzyżanowski

“Fragment of the interior of Notre Dame in Paris” by Konrad Krzyżanowski depicts parts of the gothic architectural elements within the famous cathedral. Krzyżanowski, as an early exponent of Expressionism, focused on Notre Dame’s arches and stained glass windows. His use of greens and purples highlight the gothic columns and arches. In the left half of the painting is shown one of the massive rose windows, including some of the lower 18 vertical windows below the rose window.

Rose Windows of Notre Dame

Notre-Dame’s construction started in 1163 with the laying of the cornerstone in the presence of King Louis VII and Pope Alexander III. The stained glass windows of Notre-Dame, notably the three rose windows, are among the most notable features of the cathedral.

  • West Rose Window
    • The west rose window, over the portals, was the first and smallest of the roses in Notre-Dame. It is 9.6 meters in diameter and was made in about 1225, with the pieces of glass set in a thick circular stone frame. None of the original glass remains in this window; it was recreated in the 19th century.

  • Transept Windows
    • The two transept windows are more extensive and contain a more significant proportion of glass than the rose on the west façade because the new system of buttresses made the nave walls thinner and stronger.

  • North Rose Window
    • The North Rose Window was created in about 1250. The wide of spectrum of colors achieved in Medieval France’s stained glass windows were designed by varying the proportion of metal added to molten glass and the temperature to which the mixture was heated.
  • South Rose Window
    • Created in about 1260, the South Rose Window in the transept is 12.9 meters in diameter; with the claire-voie surrounding it, a total of 19 meters. The south rose has 94 medallions, arranged in four circles, depicting scenes from the life of Christ and those who witnessed his time on earth. Above the rose was a window depicting Christ triumphant seated in the sky, surrounded by his Apostles. Below are sixteen windows with painted images of Prophets. These were not part of the original window; they were painted during the restoration in the 19th century.

    • The south rose was damaged in 1543 by the settling of the masonry walls, and was restored until 1725–1727. It was then severely damaged in the French Revolution of 1830. The window was entirely rebuilt in 1861. The window today has both medieval and 19th-century glass.

Flying Buttress

The flying buttress was a vital innovation, before the buttresses, all the weight of the roof pressed out and down to the walls. With the flying buttress, the pressure was carried by the ribs of the vault outside the structure to a series of counter-supports. The buttresses meant that the walls of Notre Dame could be higher and thinner, and could have much larger windows.

The Towers

The two towers are sixty-nine meters high and were the tallest structures in Paris until the completion of the Eiffel Tower in 1889. The towers were the last major element of the cathedral to be constructed. The south tower was built first, between 1220 and 1240, and the north tower between 1235 and 1250. The newer north tower is slightly larger as is the buttress of the north tower which is larger.

Konrad Krzyżanowski

Konrad Krzyżanowski (1872 – 1922) was a Ukrainian-born Polish illustrator and painter, who was considered to be an early exponent of Expressionism. He grew up in Kiev where he took his first art lessons, studies in Saint Petersburg followed this, then Munich, before settling in Warsaw. He continued to travel and live for short periods in London and Paris, where he painted this painting.

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 colorful rose windows, and the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration all set it apart from earlier Romanesque architecture.


  • Notre Dame’s Gothic stained glass windows would have seemed miraculous to the 13th-century worshipers?

Fragment of the interior of Notre Dame in Paris

  • Title:               Fragment of the interior of Notre Dame in Paris
  • Artist:             Konrad Krzyżanowski
  • Year:              1912
  • Medium:        Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:   Height: 148 cm (58.2 ″); Width: 121 cm (47.6 ″)
  • Genre:            Church interior
  • Museum:        National Museum, Warsaw

Konrad Krzyżanowski

  • Name:               Konrad Krzyżanowski
  • Born:                 1872, Kremenchuk, Ukraine,
  • Died:                 1922, Warsaw, Poland
  • Nationality:       Ukrainian-born Polish
  • Notable works:

Explore Notre Dame Inspired Art

Notre Dame 

  • 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.

Explore the National Museum, Warsaw


“The last time I saw Paris, her heart was warm and gay, I heard the laughter of her heart in every street café.”
– Oscar Hammerstein


Photo Credit: 1)Konrad Krzyżanowski [Public domain]

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