Attributed Thomas Shotter Boys, 1803–1874
The Church of Notre Dame Rue de la Paix Calais
The Church of Notre Dame Rue de la Paix Calais
pencil pen and ink and watercolour
6 x 4 in (15.24 x 10.16cm.)


The building as it stands today is the result of several construction campaigns spanning thirteenth and seventeenth centuries. The church derives all its originality of this mixture of styles since it must be the only church in English Perpendicular style yellow brick to exist in continental Europe! Its bell tower stands at the crossroads of the transepts, the nave, very austere, with a date of the XIII century, the heart and transept, Gothic, the fourteenth century. The chapel is Absidiale style, known as the Virgin and was added in 1631, it is classic French style. In 1691, on the north side of the nave, Vauban built a tank used to collect rainwater in anticipation of a siege. Today, the church boasts its celebrity marriage of Captain De Gaulle with Calaisien Vendroux Yvonne in 1921.

The Church is a Roman Catholic parish church located on Rue de la Paix, in Calais, department of Pas-de-Calais, in northern France. Of Tudor architecture, it dates from the 12th century, and chiefly from the 14th century.The church was damaged during the early wars between France and England, especially in 1346-47, after the Battle of Crécy. Many of the kings and queens of France and England prayed here;and John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners is buried in the church choir. It was classified as a historical monument on September 13, 1913. Charles de Gaulle and Yvonne Vendroux were married in the church in 1921.

The tower of Notre Dame church was used as an observation point for the Anglo-French Survey (1784–1790), which used trigonometry to calculate the precise distance between the Paris Observatory and the Royal Greenwich Observatory. Cross-channel sightings were made in September and October 1787 of signal lights at Dover Castle and Fairlight Down, and vice versa.

The church is large and has a fortress-like appearance. Its layout is in the shape of a Latin cross. There is a large nave with aisles, north and south transepts, a choir with choir-aisles, and a side chapel. A notable feature is the high altar, mostly completed by 1626, which has carvings and bas-relief. A pedestal and a statue are dated 1628, while two other statues were added in 1629, and the balustrades finished in 1648. Among the works of art is a painting by Peter Paul Rubens of the Descent from the Cross.

Artist biography

Boys was born at Pentonville, London, on 2 January 1803. He was articled to the engraver George Cooke. When his apprenticeship came to an end he went to Paris where he met and came under the influence of Richard Parkes Bonington, who persuaded him to abandon engraving for painting. Some sources describe him as a pupil of Bonington, although William Callow, who later shared a studio with him in Paris, disputed this.

He exhibited at the Royal Academy for the first time in 1824, and in Paris in 1827. In 1830 he went to Brussels, but returned to England on the outbreak of the revolution there. Paying another visit to Paris, he remained there until 1837, and then returned to England in order to lithograph the works of David Roberts and Clarkson Stanfield.

His most important work, Picturesque Architecture in Paris, Ghent, Antwerp, Rouen, etc., a collection of colour lithographs, appeared in 1839, attracting a great deal of admiration.Drawn on the stone by Boys and printed by Charles Joseph Hullmandel, it was described in a review in the Polytechnic Journal as "the first successful effort in chroma-lithography  hitherto brought to perfection". King Louis-Philippe sent the artist a ring in recognition of its merits. He also published Original Views of London as it is, drawn and lithographed by himself, (London, 1843). He drew the illustrations to Blackie's History of England, and etched some plates for John Ruskin's Stones of Venice.

Boys was a member of the Institute of Painters in Water Colours, and of several foreign artistic societies. He died in 1874.