[a066] - The Lady and The Unicorn

Cluny: The Lady and The Unicorn

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Our good friend, Victor Nothmann, highly recommended we see the Musee de Cluny du Moyen Age (Cluny Museum of the Middle Ages) and since it was only a few blocks from our apartment, we did that right away.  Did you see the standing figures on the picture of Notre Dame in [a052]?  Those are the 28 kings of Israel.  When the revolution broke out the people, not being too very sophisticated, only knew that they were kings, not whose.  They beheaded all 28 statues and the heads fell to the parvis, in some cases badly damaged.  Those heads which could not be salvaged are now at Cluny and they are very impressive despite being broken: they're 20 inches from chin to crown.  All the statues have since had their heads replaced or renovated.

The tapestry "The Lady and The Unicorn" is 10th century and is in excellent shape.  Sorry about the poor quality of the image — I was still learning about my camera when I took it and the room was quite dimly lit — this image has been heavily retouched.  About 80 years ago the tapestries (there are five panels illustrating the five senses) were water-damaged and the bottoms rotted off.  The owner had them "professionally restored" but the 20th century doesn't produce quality like the 10th — the colors on the bottom have now faded and bled and the fibers are deteriorating.