Notre Dame Cathedral Grotesque Le Stryge
This grotesque, located on an angle along the gallery of the north tower of Notre-Dame, is one of a group of fantastical figures carved during the 19th C. restoration of the cathedral. This restoration was carried out between 1843-64 under the direction of Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (with Jean-Baptiste Lassus, until his death in 1857), chief architect for the Commission de monuments historique , France's agency for national preservation at the time. By the mid-19th C., the medieval gargoyles that had protectively spouted water away from the building had deteriorated. Inspired by Victor Hugo's 1831 book Notre-Dame de Paris (English: Hunchback of Notre Dame), Viollet-le-Duc replaced the gargoyles with chimères, as he called them, guardian-demons that, from an architectural viewpoint, are simply decorative. An 1852-54 series of etchings on Paris by artist Charles Meryon featured an image of the grotesque pictured here. Meryon showed it overlooking the city below; he named the print Le Stryge (The Vampire), and catapulted the stone carving to fame.
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