I went to call on Notre Dame the other day. I had drawn and painted her so much in my early trips to this city, and watching the news about the fire really gutted me. I’m grateful it isn’t worse, and I’m also hoping more damage doesn’t come with further collapse. Recent news about lead poisoning have halted the work, and the summer heat took a toll on the already damaged building. There is scaffolding holding up all the flying buttresses, and the nave windows, except the huge rose ones, are gone. I think they’ve been removed instead of all of them damaged, at least I hope so. It’s disconcerting to look through the side of the nave and see sky. I walked all around, up the north side just along the church and then over the Ile St. Louis, where I did this sketch, and then on around the south side looking from the Left Bank. I process things, and also look more closely, by drawing, so here is my sketch, which tends to fall into the recent category of “reportage sketching.” I’m also adding a couple of photos below once I got around to the south side and a little closer, for anyone wanting a better look at how things stand now.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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