Nantes Cathedral Fire

July 20 2020

Image of Nantes Cathedral Fire

Picture: La Tribune de l'Art

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

France awoke to the tragic news on Saturday morning that Nantes Cathedral was on fire. Despite the shocking photos and videos of the destruction it seems that the damage wasn't as devastating in comparison to the 2019 fire at Notre Dame in Paris.

One of the casualties of the Nantes fire was Hippolyte Flandrin's 1836 painting of St Clair Healing the Blind (pictured). Flandrin, one of Ingres's most celebrated pupils, completed the work whilst in Rome. A copy of the picture by Hippolyte's brother Paul survives in the Louvre. The fire narrowly missed a marvellous and important tomb of François II and Marguerite de Foix. The cathedral's organ, the core of which dated to the early seventeenth century with later additions made in 1784, has perished in the flames. Investigations are ongoing in the causes of the fire, but it seems that malfunctioning electrical equipment might be to blame.

Here's a full write up of the damage in La Tribune de l'Art.

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