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Photographer's Note

This figure was a part of a rather curious display at the Cluny Museum. This is in the gallery of the Kings of Judah, of which there were originally many more. They were created about 1220. Apparently enraged citizens attacked the Notre-Dame cathedral where they were originally located, damaging the structure and its statues. Shockingly, in the late 18th century, 28 damaged statues were sold as scrap, so most have been lost, but a construction project in 1977 on the other side of the Seine uncovered some of the kings' heads and other sculpture fragments. They were then put on display here: the decapitated figures are all that remains of them. You can see the damage here which resulted from the attack. Rioters evidently erroneously believed that these figures represented the kings of France, perhaps inciting their rage and the violence inflicted on them. I suppose in some ways the cathedral itself is lucky to have survived: there was a plan to demolish it during the Revolution, which certainly could have happened, but the cost was prohibitively expensive and it was instead transformed into a temple of the Cult of Reason and later the Cult of the Supreme Being, with statues of Lady Liberty replacing the Virgin Mary.

AKA the Musée National du Moyen Age (National Museum of the Middle Ages), the Cluny houses one of the world's best Medieval art collections in a fifteenth-century Gothic mansion, one of only two surviving medieval homes in Paris. It was founded by the 15th century abbot, Jacques d'Amboise, who built it over the ruins of a Roman bath, the remains of which can still be seen inside. Other notable residents included Mary Tudor, widow of Louis XII, in 1515 and Alexandre du Sommerard, who rented the house in 1833. This fortuitous circumstance led to the founding of the museum: he was an art collector with a love of all things medieval, and after his death, his collection was so significant that the French government decided to purchase both it and the structure which had housed it. The most famous exhibits include the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry scenes, found in a castle in 1841 and acquired by the museum in 1882. It also hosts an impressive stained glass collection, many pieces of which were originally created for Sainte-Chapelle.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 74 W: 76 N: 405] (1100)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2013-11-00
  • Categories: Artwork
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2014-06-23 16:37
Viewed: 263
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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 74 W: 76 N: 405] (1100)
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