Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Cloisters

I visited The Cloisters Museum last weekend. I can't believe how well most of the artwork has survived the years. They've survived time and light and travel and religious reformists with torches and grubby handed tourists who touch when they're not supposed to.

There were tapestries - of course most people are familiar with the Unicorn Tapestries,
The Unicorn is Found
Attack of the Unicorn
or more particularly "The Unicorn in Captivity"
Unicorn in Captivity
They had this other tapestry (I forgot the name). 
The Cloisters Tapestry Red Dress
The Cloisters Tapestry Red Dress

It was really beautiful. It's a 3-dimensional tapestry as you can see in her dress.  The colors of the tapestry have held up so well. I asked a docent about it and he said it's because they used natural dyes that last so much longer than our modern chemical dyes do.

I also really like all the stonework. 

They have a HUGE alabaster altar that was brought here from France and is still completely intact (I didn't get a picture). They had this big stone carving that was hanging on the wall. There was a part of it that looks a little bit like a bunch broccoli florets.
The Cloisters Sculpture
I can't believe how intricately people can carve stone without it breaking. I don't know if I'd ever have that kind of patience.

There were a numbers of sculptures and castings that I liked.
The Cloisters Mary
The Cloisters Adornment
Animals were used only as adornments. I suppose it was considered ungodly to hold animals in a higher place; unicorns, okay (they're everywhere in art from that time period) but real animals no way.

I'm always amazed by how much art has been created in the name of God, Allah, Buddha, Vishnu, Yahweh. I definitely need to go back there.

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