May 16, 2016

The Lady and the Unicorn

On Wednesday the world celebrates International Museum Day. I’ve been lucky to see some of the greatest works of European art in museums like the Uffizi and the Louvre, and I’m amazed that something as lovely as The Lady and the Unicorn, a series of medieval tapestries, came out of an age known more for Barbarian invaders and the Black Death.

The Lady and the Unicorn
Musée de Cluny, Paris

The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries are displayed at the Musée de Cluny (also known as the National Museum of the Middle Ages) in Paris. The museum is located on the site of Gallo-Roman baths on the city’s Left Bank.

Courtyard of the Musée de Cluny

Courtyard Well

Courtyard Sun Dial

Thermes de Cluny, Gallo-Roman Thermal Baths

The six Flemish tapestries were woven from silk and wool in the 1500s. Historians have interpreted the series as representing the five senses, plus a sixth more obscure theme suggested by the caption A mon seul desir (my sole desire) which appears across the top of the tent.

The Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries

A mon seul désir

Tracy Chevalier has written a novel about the making of these tapestries, also titled The Lady and the Unicorn. I'm adding it to my reading list.

Fan Vaulted Ceiling in the Gothic Chapel
Musée de Cluny

The Musée de Cluny also displays some of the original stained glass from Sainte-Chapelle, the magnificent Gothic chapel on Ile de la Cité.

The Stained Glass Room, Musée de Cluny

Original Stained Glass from Sainte Chapelle

Stained Glass Windows in the Upper Chapel
of Sainte-Chapelle

The Rose Window

The Lower Chapel

Sainte-Chapelle Sculpture

Both the Musée de Cluny and Sainte-Chapelle are well worth a visit while in Paris.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are moderated.