MHC's Davis on History Channel

Posted: March 1, 2007

Professor of art Michael Davis appeared on the program Engineering An Empire: Napoleon: Steel Monster that aired on the History Channel December 18 and has played periodically since. Produced by KPI-TV in New York as part of a series hosted by Peter Weller, this installment on France focused on the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Paris, and Louis XIV's Canal du Midi project, with a bit on Versailles and the Eiffel Tower. Davis was interviewed about Notre-Dame and what it represents as a work of innovative architecture and engineering and noted how the structure's unprecedented height and breathtaking lightness exploited the potential of the then revolutionary, Early Gothic structural device of the flying buttress. The cathedral's scale embodied the wealth and power of the Bishop of Paris and clergy, while the emphasis on stained glass offered the viewer a glimpse of heaven, Davis noted.

Davis also was interviewed recently for a National Geographic program called Megastructures that will include the Great Pyramid in Egypt, the Coliseum in Rome, and the Cathedral of Chartres. That show should be completed late this spring.

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