Greetings from Paris! I am having such a good time. The last few days have gone by so quickly. Paris is just lovely right now. The weather here is amazing, though quite a bit warmer than I had expected. This is a picture of me (after hours of flying and not a wink of sleep) just after arriving at the Hotel College du France. In the picture I'm having a cafe au lait and croissant which explains my mouth being full of food!
This is a picture from the Cluny Museum. I was very interested in the sculptures and tiles they had in their collection--some of the designs were so similar to ones that William Morris revived during the Arts and Crafts Movement ( actually found one 16th century acanthus carving that looked EXACTLY like the pattern Morris always used, but the light was too low to take a proper picture. I swear he must have traced it). We went to the Cluny right after breakfast on the 10th (Saturday). As fate would have it, it turned out that Saturday was free admission day--yay!--and it's a good thing, too. Prices in Paris have absolutely gone through the roof. The first time I came here I thought Paris was a bargain--well, no longer! (we had breakfast at a rather modest cafe the next day and I noticed that a coca cola was 8 euros--twelve dollars!)
The Cluny was spectacular. A must for anyone who loves the Middle Ages--especially if they are into tapestries! They have the entire Lady and the Unicorn series there, and it is absolutely amazing to see up close, though unfortunately it's pretty much impossible to take photos, since there's no flash allowed and the room they are in keeps them in low light to preserve the colour. It really is a good thing in the long run, though, because it will preserve these fantastic works of art for another generation. One thing I was really impressed with when I saw them up close was how good the shading is. The figures seem so lively and there is so much humor injected into all of the tapestries. Definitely not the dreary mood you might imagine. My favourite from the series was "Gout" (taste). I will post a picture of it when I find a good one--such a great tapestry! Because of the light, I didn't get any tapestry picture that turned out very well, but this is for Kate! It doesn't nearly do justice to the amazing colours and textures, but c'est la vie!