Tower of Kings at Rheims

Henri Le Secq1851

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Henri Le Secq's close-up view turns this church tower into a work of elaborate sculpture rather than architecture. Commissioned by the French government as part of the 1851 Mission Héliographique (Heliographic Mission), Le Secq photographed the Tower of Kings, the south tower of Notre-Dame Cathedral at Rheims, northeast of Paris, from high up in another tower. Details that would ordinarily be missed from the ground are here revealed with breathtaking clarity. From 1845 to 1864, the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc worked on the restoration of the Cathedral. Construction scaffolding, which almost disappears in the elaborate decoration of the exterior, is visible encasing the tower at left.

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  • Title: Tower of Kings at Rheims
  • Date Created: 1851
  • Location Created: Reims, France
  • Physical Dimensions: w25.9 x h35.1 cm
  • Type: Print
  • Rights: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • External Link: http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=45292
  • Medium: Salted paper
  • photographer: Henri Le Secq (French, 1818 - 1882)
  • Terms of Use: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • Subject: Reims Cathedral


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