John William Bailly
Notre-Dame de Miami, 2022 (Flower Wars)
Oil on canvas
86 x 118 inches / 220 x 300 centimeters
Courtesy of the Artist
This painting depicts the burning of Notre-Dame de Paris in a Miami landscape. Bailly explores contemporary cultural parallels in Miami to the 1567 Spanish Mission in the Tequesta town at the mouth of the Miami River.
The image of the structure is based on In Situ Notre Dame de Paris drawings Bailly made while in Paris.
The fire is based on In Situ Fire Miami drawings made during a controlled burn of the natural areas at the Deering Estate in Miami.
The mangroves are abstractions of In Situ drawings. The black lines intend to serve as the reinforcement of movement and structure to the colors and composition. This formal component is directly inspired by the stained glass of Sainte-Chapelle in Paris.
The skulls in the painting mirror the figurative placement in the composition of Tintoretto’s “Miracle of the Slave.”
In the lower section of the painting are Bailly’s imagined portraits of Jesuit Francisco de Villarreal and Tequesta Don Diego.
In the sky, behind the flames and smoke, are sections of Villarreal’s 1568 letter. Villarreal’s letter is considered to be the first letter ever penned in what is now Miami. You can view the oldest known copy Villarreal’s letter and a translation on this page.
02 September 2022
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