Notre Dame de Paris finished


The finished painting which has had enough description already probably. An improvement on the first one so I am glad that I did it.

The little girl in the picture, modeled by my granddaughter, Lola,  although she didn’t know it, is struggling to put her hood up, so that she can continue chasing the poor pigeons. She loved to watch them take off as a flock, and then shortly afterwards settle back in more or less the same place again

The rest of my gallant family had gone into the cathedral, as the other grandchildren wanted to climb the tower. Lola didn’t want to, and frankly nor did I, so we stayed below on terra firma. My wife, who hates flying but doesn’t mind tall buildings, went with the others. I don’t mind flying but don’t like going up tall buildings. Curious really.

I prefer looking at cathedrals, studying the architecture, and trying to imagine the history surrounding the building. My first thought was of the wonderful story written by Victor Hugo, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, and visually for me, going to see that wonderful film in 1956 of the same name, starring Anthony Quinn and Gina Lollobrigida. Quinn played Quasimodo the hunchbacked bellringer, and as a schoolboy then, I was very impressed as Quasimodo sat astride each bell in turn, urging them on like horses. An exciting story, which has been remade subsequently.

On 18 March 1314, Jacques de Molay, with others was burned at the stake in front of this cathedral. He was the last Grand Master of the Order of Knights Templars, an organisation of warrior monks, formed originally to protect pilgrims visiting the shrine of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Pilgrims no doubt rewarded them, as they became rich, as religious orders so often do. They were astute money managers and became in effect, international bankers, lending enormous sums to crowned heads of Europe.

They became super rich and powerful, and thus attracted enemies, including the then Pope Clement V. It was alleged that the Templars had started to identify with their Moslem counterparts, and accusations of heresy were made. Without doubt Templars learned much from their eastern contacts, especially in the field of architecture. What they learned was kept a secret, always suspect, and laid the foundations to the Masonic Order.

Philip IV of France, taking his cue from the Pope started to arrest Templars. Also please note that he owed fortunes to the Templars who were pressing for payment. Templars were tortured horribly to obtain confessions of heresy. De Molay himself confessed to stop the pain and retracted afterwards. He was ordered to be burned at the stake, and it was so arranged that he was consumed very slowly by the fire. Most died within minutes

De Molay at the stake, cursed those who had colluded in his murder, that they should die within the year, and their descendants meet a violent end likewise. Clement V died the following month, and Philip IV had a stroke whilst hunting shortly afterwards. Philip’s descendants did meet premature deaths, so much so that the Capetian line died out

I snap out of my reverie, Lola is still chasing pigeons, and everything seems normal again


8 thoughts on “Notre Dame de Paris finished

  1. Marvelous work and history lesson Monsieur. I had once read a novel called the Da Vinci Code and my fascination for Paris originally started from there. In that book it was claimed that The Knight Templers, after their Grand Masters death, secretly reorganized and one of their following Grand Masters were Issac Newton. However it has no believable basis and can be assumption of an overenthusiastic researcher who tracks everything and everyone to The Holy Grail (who is claimed to be Jesus’s wife Mary Magdalene). But controversies aside, Da Vinci code is good travel guide for Paris and for people like me who have never been there.
    One thing Monsieur, I ask for your permission to use this painting on my story. As always your work, website and blog will be credited gallantly, rest assured.

    Liked by 1 person

    • By all means use the painting, Farzana, and give me the link sometime, so that I can enjoy reading the story
      Dan Brown’s book the Da Vinci Code is a wonderful read, and people have used it, I know as a guide book in Paris, and in London, where the Templars had a church, which is still there. Templars churches are round, I expect you know, modeled on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem
      Templars weren’t persecuted in any other country, so many escaped to England and Scotland, where they carried on as before. They metamorphosed somehow into the masons, I believe, but I don’t remember how. maybe Isaac Newton was a Grand Master of a Masonic Lodge, but I just don’t know

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you a million Monsieur. I’ll definitely send you the link of the chapter with your painting on it. In my story, however, it will be joint venture between 5½ years old Adrian and his drawing teacher, the celebrated painter Monsieur Oscar Monette. The painting is put on an exhibition in the Palais Garnier exhibition hall.

        Da Vinci code is definitely an enjoyable read. The only thing that I didn’t like was claiming that Jesus had a descendant through his marriage with Mary Magdalene. But then again it’s a story and we shouldn’t be so severe on it.

        I know asking this would be next to stupidity but have you been to Louvre? If you taken good snaps of it, you can consider it as a project. You can also consider Museum of Orangerie inside Tuileries, where Monet’s water lilies painting is.

        I’m going to pin down this painting on your Pinterest board. Don’t forget to check it out.

        Liked by 1 person

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