Thursday, October 18, 2012

Please Let Me In: James O'Donnell designs Montreal's Notre Dame Basillica Before His Death Bed Conversion to Catholicism

It may come as a suprise to many that Notre Dam Basilica of Montreal, is the realization of the architectural work of James O'Donnell, an Irish immigrant.

Wikepedia has the following entry about O'Donnell:
James O’Donnell came from a wealthy family of Anglo-Irish landowners. In 1812 he took up residence in New York City, where he successfully practised as an architect. His major works in that city were the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum, the Fulton Market, and Christ Church (1822–23). O’Donnell took his inspiration for the last building from the neo-Gothic style, which he favoured throughout his career. He had already been elected to the American Academy of the Fine Arts in New York in 1817.
O’Donnell moved to Montreal to build the Notre-Dame Basilica from 1823-1829.[1]
For some years James O’Donnell had suffered from oedema, and from July 1829 his condition worsened. In November he dictated his will; at that point he decided to convert from Protestantism to Catholicism. He died shortly afterwards, on January 28, 1830. He is the only person buried in the church's crypt. O'Donnell converted to Catholicism on his deathbed perhaps due to the realization that he might not be allowed to be buried in his church.[2]
please click here:

The church is recognized for itsdramatically beautiful architecture and  where such notable Canadians as Maurice (The Rocket) Richard, and Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau's funerals were held.  Celine Dione was married in Notre Dame.

Wikipedia writes of its artistic beauty:

The church's Gothic Revival architecture is among the most dramatic in the world; its interior is grand and colourful, its ceiling is coloured deep blue and decorated with golden stars, and the rest of the sanctuary is a polychrome of blues, azures, reds, purples, silver, and gold. It is filled with hundreds of intricate wooden carvings and several religious statues. Unusual for a church, the stained glass windows along the walls of the sanctuary do not depict biblical scenes, but rather scenes from the religious history of Montreal. It also has a Casavant Frères pipe organ, dated 1891, which comprises four keyboards, 92 stops using electropneumatic action and an adjustable combination system, 7000 individual pipes and a pedal board.[1][2] 
 Please click here

1 comment:

Thank you for posting your comments.
ATTENTION SPAMMERS: Comments with links to other websites, will not be accepted.

A message for anonymous posters: Comments will be accepted provided they are thoughtful and articulate.

Reciprocating comments between posters will not be accepted. Sorry - I have no intention of giving readers the opportunity to engage in flame wars. It won't happen.

Fredericks-Artworks Blog, copying policy

The Canadian Copyright act, section 29 reports on fairdealing, that it is not an infringement to reproduce someone else's work for research, study, criticism, review or to report. Which pretty much sums up what this site is about. All content sources, be they artists, printed references, and website url's are respectfully identified on this site. http://http//

Mission Statement
A Portrait of the Visual Arts in Canada, is intended to celebrate the richness of Canada's visual arts, and to promote the arts in Canada.

Statement of Intent
I make every effort to credit the sources of information used in this blog and to obtain the permission and cooperation of all the works presented by living artists. I try, as much as possible to use works from public sources eg. national and provincial collections, of deceased artists. If for any reason, any artist disapproves of anything written about them or their work the artist is encouraged to request withdrawal of the content.