01 July 2013

Visiting The Cloisters

Last week I visited The Cloisters with a friend of mine to see a unicorn exhibit in honor of the Museum's 75th anniversary. It was lovely! If you haven't been up there, you should go (let me know, and I'll join you!). In addition to the exhibit, which had a lovely variety of unicorn items, including a narwhal horn and the transplendent Unicorn in Captivity, we got to spend some time in the lush Bonnefont Cloister. 

View of the Bonnefont Cloister from the far corner

A quince ripens on one of four trees at the center of the garden

How fabulous is it that they have a section with flowers that are depicted in the Unicorn Tapestries? I love the little wild pansies. 

One of two potted dwarf pomegranate trees. People often think the red marks on The Unicorn in Captivity are bleeding cuts from his capture, but they really are pomegranate juice dripping from the tree he is tied to. 

The garden is segmented into beds for different categories: medicinal, magical, culinary, and the one that interested me most - crafts. Here is some indigo. There was also madder, flax, and quite a few other plants used in fiber production. One of the amazing things to realize about the tapestries is that all those colors are from natural dyes. 

Here is a snap of The Unicorn in Captivity from when Isobel and I visited in March.  

It is more vibrant IRL, of course. My creativity is whirring away, so maybe you'll see some unicorn-inspired designs down the line. 

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