The treasure of Notre-Dame Cathedral, From Its Origins to Viollet-le-Duc

18 October 2023 29 January 2024
As restoration work on the cathedral enters its final stage, the Musée du Louvre dedicates an unprecedented exhibition to the treasury of Notre-Dame de Paris. This treasury will then return to the cathedral's neo-Gothic sacristy, built to hold it by Jean Baptiste Lassus and Eugène Viollet-le-Duc from 1845 to 1850. This exhibition provides a condensed history of the treasury through more than 120 works, restoring...

Notre-Dame's treasury, entirely reassembled after the French Revolution, is famous today for the prestigious relics it houses, particularly those of the Crown of Thorns and the Wood of the Cross, transferred from the former treasury of Sainte-Chapelle and, during the reign of Napoleon I, given new reliquaries in Notre-Dame.

The treasury is also renowned for the splendour of the masterpieces of French precious metalwork assembled there in the 19th century, especially those designed by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, providing extraordinary testimony to the history of Notre-Dame and of France itself.

The exhibition provides an unprecedented retrospective, exploring for the first time the history of the treasury prior to the French Revolution. Inventories, historic accounts, paintings, illuminated manuscripts, prints and other illustrated documents, along with several surviving pieces, will retrace the long story, starting in the Merovingian era, of Notre-Dame's treasury.

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