Gargoyles at Notre Dame

Gargoyles at Notre Dame

c. 1935

Pierre Auradon

(French, 1900-1988)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 17.1 x 12.1 cm (6 3/4 x 4 3/4 in.); Paper: 17.1 x 12.1 cm (6 3/4 x 4 3/4 in.)

Gift of George Stephanopoulos 2018.462

Did you know?

These stone creatures are not medieval; they were added to the famed Parisian cathedral during an 1844 restoration.


Photography allows us to travel through not just space but also time. We can experience the skyline of Paris in 1935, courtesy of Pierre Auradon. His study of light and shadow, shot on the roof of Notre Dame cathedral, contrasts that massive medieval stone building with the distant, lacy Eiffel Tower, built in 1889. Auradon framed the shot so that the cathedral’s famed chimeras—fanciful hybrid creatures—survey the scene below, ready to swoop down on the city’s inhabitants.

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