Day 4

We began day 4 with a visit to the National Museum of the Middle Ages (aka the Cluny). Like the other Paris museums we visited, this one could occupy a person for days.

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The Annunciation, 15th Century Normandy

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An inspirational scene. Samson having his eyes gouged out.

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Early 13th Century

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Ivory triptych, late 13th Century

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Notice that the ivory was originally painted. Some of the paint is still visible.

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The Museum had lots of splendid reliquaries. These were used to hold sacred relics, such as pieces of the “true cross.” It has been said that if all the wood from the “true cross” in medieval churches was gathered in one place it would be enough to build Noah’s ark.

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We’ve seen some fascinating reliquaries and relics over the years–the veil of Mary in the cathedral at Chartres, John the Baptist’s head in the cathedral at Amiens (one of several such heads on display worldwide), a finger of St. Teresa in Avila. When our children were young and we traveled a lot, one game we played with them, in an effort to make visits to old churches and cathedrals amusing and interesting, was to see who could find the most interesting relic. Our holy grail was a reliquary containing a saint’s toenail.

But this is the most fascinating reliquary I’ve ever seen–the Reliquary of the Umbilicus of Christ (1407).

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Sadly, my close up of the holy umbilicus came out blurred. The inscription reads “De Umbilico Domini Jesu Christi.”

 

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The Cluny’s star attractions are the “Lady and the Unicorn” tapestries, from the early 16th Century.

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This one is not as famous, but I enjoyed it–a tournament scene from 1480.

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Him, vain and boasting. Her, bored and unimpressed.

After the Cluny we went for a long walk and had a picnic lunch in Luxembourg Gardens.

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In one of my nerdy fantasies, I study philosophy here.

We stopped in at Shakespeare and Company.

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For nearly a hundred years, this bookstore has been giving lodging and quiet spaces to writers and artists, among them Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Joyce. Andrea Hejlskov (I know some of you read her blog) stayed here during the recent Climate Summit.

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Cherie is sitting on one of the cots

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The Notre Dame is just across the way from Shakespeare and Company.

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Parisians love books. The walk along the Seine is lined with antique booksellers.

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Another full and fun day.

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A baguette and a bottle of Bordeaux

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16 comments on “Day 4

  1. shoreacres says:

    Yeh? Well, I saw three antelope today, and some cotton ready to be picked. So there! Actually, I love the photos and the reminders of all the treasures to be found there. The tapesstries were among the first I remember knowing about. I think they were included in a day book published by one of the NYC museums — probably the Met. I’ve known a couple of needlepointers who did that sort of fine work. I can’t remember how many squares to the inch, but it’s more than the standard 12 or 14, believe me.

    Love that last photo of Cheri clutching supper.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      It’s funny. People who live in big cities with famous art museums pay us to come stay on our farm to experience things like seeing a deer, or vegetables ready to be picked. And I totally get that. I remember thinking, when I was a boy, that it would be wonderful to live near a beach. I envied a cousin who lived in Florida. I remember being stunned when she told me that her dream was to live in the mountains someday.

      I love living out here in the “sticks” and wouldn’t trade it for any other life. I intend to spend most of the rest of my days enjoying our version of antelopes and ripe cotton. But this vacation reminded me that there are lots of other things I enjoy and appreciate too–like an occasional visit to a museum.

      Our food experiences in France weren’t all good (I’ll be blogging about that someday) but the bread and wine were always exceptional. 🙂

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  2. Laurie Graves says:

    What a day! I loved your take on the jousting tapestry. Exactly right. Ah, Paris!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Isn’t that great? The expressions are perfect, and her with her arms crossed. 🙂
      I wonder if she requested that the artist give her that expression. It seems to me it would be risky to do it without her being in on it.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Sorry Bill. All I can think to say is “WOW!”

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  4. Beautiful shot of Notre Dame, Bill. And a charming shot of Cherie with her bread! –Curt

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    • Bill says:

      We were fortunate to have great weather. Looking back on the photos now I wish I’d taken more of things like Cherie with the bread and less of the Notre Dame. But it’s such an impressive building it was impossible to resist snapping off a lot of photos of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Fabulous.. Love those statues and the stain glass. Museums were always where we headed when we visit abroad you can learn and see so much from them.. Thank you so much for sharing Bill

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  6. Wow. Really enjoying your photos. Could wander around there for days!

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  7. dianabyrne says:

    The Musée de Cluny is such an interesting museum. My recent french lesson was in front of the lady and the unicorn at the museum.

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