The sculptures of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris were once painted in vibrant colors. Traces of polychrome that remain reveal that paints were applied in many layers, perhaps over centuries. Because the chemical composition of paints were consistent from Antiquity until the 18th century, it has been difficult to determine the dates of the layers and, thus, to establish the original or subsequent colors of the sculptures. Some upper layers suggest repainting, while others seem related to methods for preparing the stone surface and modeling the sculptures using areas of highlight and shadow.

As a part of the Notre Dame in Color project, the 3D modeling labs of the Univ. of Alabama and Centre-Chastel are developing a 3D models of the sculptures of Notre Dame in order to document and preserve existing evidence while also making new analyses. This work is being conducted as part of the research of the Chantier scientifique de Notre Dame, Group Décor and transatlantic travel is funded in part by a FACE Foundation Transatlantic Research Partnership.


Dr. Jennifer M. Feltman, PI, Associate Professor, UA Art and Art History 

Dr. Gregory Chaumet, Co-PI, Lead Engineer/Architect, Plemo-3D laboratoire, Centre André Chastel, Sorbonne Université, CRNS)

Dr. Stephan Albrecht, Professor, Art History, Bamberg Univeristät

Cristina Dagalita, Centre Chastel, doctoral student, Centre André Chastel

Stéphanie Duchêne, Chemist, Laboratoire de Recherches des Monuments Historiques, doctoral student in chemistry and art history (thesis, dir. L. Bellot-Gurlet Paris VI, P. Plagnieux, Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne)

Dr. Iliana Kasarska, Membre Associé, Centre André Chastel

Dr. Dany Sandron, Professor, Art History, Centre André Chastel

Jeremiah Stager, MA, senior cultural resources assistant, UA Office of Archaeological Research

Dr. Markus Schlicht, chargé de recherche, Université de Bordeaux

Dr. Alexander Tokovinine, associate professor, UA Anthropology