Sadly, memories and photos are all the world will have of the French Gothic glory that was Notre-Dame de Paris — at least for quite some time. Restoration and rebuilding will take many years in the wake of the catastrophic fire of 15 April. At this point, it appears that firefighters were able to save the main building, although the roof and spire are gone. These photos were taken last August and the building’s exterior looked magnificent, the details of its ancient stonework clear to see after the recent cleaning.
One a recent visit to Paris, I was struck by the quantity of gilding flashing in the light. I didn’t remember there being quite so much gold on previous visits! These two photos are of two of the four statues that sit at the corners of the Alexandre III bridge over the Seine. “Four gilt-bronze statues of Fames watch over the bridge, supported on massive 17 metres (56 ft) masonry socles [that] are crowned by Fames restraining Pegasus.” (source) I was confused by these “Fames”, and another wikipedia entry says, “In Greek mythology, Pheme (Roman equivalent: Fama) was the personification of fame and renown, her favour being notability, her wrath being scandalous rumours.”
Monet had his water lilies; I have my yellow Osteospermums. Like Claude Monet, I find myself coming back to the same subject in different lights. But that, I fear, is all I have in common with the great Impressionist painter!