Pantheon Reflections in the Luxembourg Quarter, Paris 38cm x 31cm Original Oil on Primed Belgian Linen by
When King Louis XV recovered from a desperate illness in 1744 he was so grateful to be alive that he conceived the idea of a magnificent church to be built to give thanks for his deliverance from death and to honour St. Genevieve the patron saint of Paris. However, the cathedral wasn’t finished until after the Revolution and upon its completion, the Government decided that the building would be turned into a pantheon – a resting place for France’s good and great. All of France’s Presidents are buried in this beautiful Neo-Classical style building along with many of the country’s famous men and women of science, literature and politics. An autumn afternoon in the Quarter and a recent shower has left the pavements on Rue Soufflot glistening and reflecting the soft colours of the morning while the beautiful Neo-Classical lines of the Pantheon can be seen in the misty background.
Modelled largely after the Pantheon in Rome with a different dome design, in 1885, the Panthéon started to be used exclusively to house the elite dead of Paris; and it remains in that role to this day. The Pantheon’s grand neoclassical structure situates itself in the midst of the Latin quarter, with La Rue Soufflot (named after the Pantheon’s architect) leading its way from the Pantheon’s entrance. Carved above the Pantheon’s impressive façade reads “Aux grands hommes la patrie reconnaisante”, translating “to great men, the grateful homeland.”, honouring those in service of France and marking down a moment in French history. With its impressive neoclassical exteriors of a huge dome (tallest dome in Paris) and Corinthian columns, the blend of Roman and Greek architecture can be traced back to Louis 15th monarchy. Inside the neoclassical designed exteriors, the interior of the Pantheon is as impressive with gothic architecture, with delicately carved statues, paintings illustrating key moments of the French revolution, and a huge square for worship French iconic figures in the basement floor.