THE earliest overflow of Paris was from the Ile de la Cité to the left or south bank (Rive Gauche).
The reason for this overflow is clear. The city was situated on a small island, near the head of navigation ; it guarded the passage of the Seine by the double bridge. Naturally, however, at a time when all civilization lay to the south, as the town began to grow, it spread southward, toward Rome, Lyons, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Arles, Nîmes, and the Roman culture. To the north at that time lay nothing but comparative barbarism, the Britons and the Germans ; or later, the English, the Normans, and the Teutonic hordes. Hence, from a very early date, Paris first ran south ward along the road to Rome. Already in Roman times here stood the palace of Constantius Chlorus and Julian, now the Thermes, the fortress which formed the tête du pont for the city. Later, the southern suburb became the seat of learning and law ; it was known by the name which it still in part retains of the Université, but is oftener now called the Quartier Latin. At first, however, only a small portion of the Left Bank was built over. But gradually the area of the new town spread from the immediate neighbourhood of the old Hôtel-Dieu, with its church or chapel of St. Julien-le-Pauvre, to the modern limit of the Boulevard St. Germain ; and thence again, by the time of Louis Quatorze, to the further boulevards just south of the Luxembourg. It is interesting to note, too, that all this southern side, long known as the Université, still retains its position as the learned district. Not only does it include the students’ region the Quartier Latin with many of the chief artistic studios, but it embraces in particular the Sorbonne, or University, the Institute of France, with its various branches (Académie Française, Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Académie des Sciences, des Beaux-Arts, etc.), the École des Beaux-Arts, the École de Médecine, the Collège de France, the Lycées St. Louis, Louis-le-Grand, and Henri IV., the École Polytechnique, the École des Mines, the Bibliothèque Ste. Geneviève, the Jardin des Plantes, and the Luxembourg Museum of Modern Paintings. In short, the Left Bank represents literary, scientific, artistic, and educational Paris, the students in law, arts, and medicine, with their own subventioned theatre, the Odéon, and their libraries, schools, laboratories, and cafés. It is further noticeable that these institutions cluster thickest around the older part of the southern suburb, just opposite the Cité, while almost all of them lie within the limits of the outer boulevards of Louis XIV.
The Quartier Latin surrounds the Sorbonne, and is traversed by the modern Boulevard St. Michel. The Faubourg St. Germain, immediately to the west of it, surrounding the old Abbey of St. Germain-des-Prés, is of rather later date ; it owes its origin in large part to the Renaissance spirit, and especially to Marie de Médicis’s palace of the Luxembourg. It is still the residence of many of the old nobility, and is regarded as the distinctively aristocratic quarter of Paris, in the restricted sense, while the district lying around the Champs Élysées is rather plutocratic and modern than noble in the older signification of the word.
The visitor will therefore bear in mind distinctly that the South Side is the Paris of the students.
The primitive nucleus of the suburb on the South Side consists of the Roman fortress palace, the tête du pont of the Left Bank, now known as the Thermes, owing to the fact that its principal existing remains include only the ruins of the baths or thermæ. This colossal building, probably erected by Constantius Chlorus, the father of Constantine, covered an enormous area south of the river. After the Frankish conquest, it still remained the residence of the Merwing and Karling kings on the rare occasions when they visited Paris; and it does not seem to have fallen into utter decay till a comparatively late date in the Middle Ages. With the Norman irruptions, however, and the rise of the real French monarchs under Eudes and the Capets, the new sovereigns found it safest-to transfer their seat to the Palace on the island, now the Palais de Justice, and the Roman fortress was gradually dismantled. In 1340 the gigantic ruins came into the hands of the powerful Benedictine Abbey of Cluny, near Mâcon, in Burgundy ; and about 148o, the abbots began to erect on the spot a town mansion for themselves, which still bears the name of the Hôtel de Cluny. The letter K, the mark of Charles VIII. (1483-1498), occurs on many parts of the existing building, and fixes its epoch. The house was mostly built by Jacques d’Amboise, abbot, in 1490. The style is late Gothic, with Renaissance features. The abbots, however, seldom visited Paris, and they frequently placed their town house, accordingly, at the disposition of the kings of France. Mary of England, sister of Henry VIII., and widow of Louis XII., occupied it thus in 1515, soon after its completion. It was usual for the queens of France to wear white as mourning ; hence her apartment is still known as the Chambre de la reine blanche.
At the Revolution, when the property of the monasteries was confiscated, the Hôtel de Cluny was sold, and passed at last, in 1833, into the hands of M. du Sommerard, a zealous antiquary, who began the priceless collection of works of art which it contains. He died in 1842, and the Government then bought the house and museum, and united it with the Roman ruin at its back under the title of Musée des Thermes et de l’Hotel de Cluny. Since that time many further objects have been added to the collection.
At Cluny the actual building forms one of the most interesting parts of the sight, and is in itself a museum. It is a charming specimen of a late mediaeval French mansion ; and the works of art it contains are of the highest artistic value. I am able briefly to describe only what seem to me the most important out of its many thousands of beautiful exhibits. At least two whole days should be devoted to Cluny one to the lower and one to the upper floor. Much more, if possible.
Go to the Place du Châtelet ; cross the bridge, and the Ile de la Cité ; also, the Pont St. Michel to the South Side. Good view of Notre-Dame to the left. In front lies the modern Boulevard St. Michel, with the Fontaine St. Michel in the foreground (the statue by Duret). Continue along the boulevard till you reach the Boulevard St. Germain, another great modern thoroughfare which cuts right through the streets of the old Faubourg and the narrow alleys of the Latin Quarter. The garden at the corner contains all that remains of the Roman Palace. Notice its solid masonry as you pass. Then, take the first turn to the left, the Rue du Sommerard, which leads you at once to the door of the museum.
Notice the late semi-Gothic gateway, resembling that of an Oxford college. Pass through the flat-arched gate into the handsome court-yard. To the left is a late Gothic loggia, containing a few antiques. In front stands the main building, with square windows and high dormers, bearing the staff and pilgrim’s scallop, the symbol of St. James, with the cardinal’s hat and scutcheons and devices of the family D’Amboise, thus indicating the name of Jacques d’Amboise, the abbot who built it. Entrance to the right. Open free, daily, 11 to 4 or 5, except Mondays.
The first suite of rooms which we enter form some of the apartments of the original building. Observe the fine timbered ceilings.
Room I. Panels, etc., in wood-carving.
Room II. Fine French chimneypiece, by Hugues Lallement, dated 1562, representing Christ and the Woman of Samaria at the well, brought from a house at Châlons-sur-Marne. On the right and left of entrance (Wall A on plan), wooden seats, with canopy, holding good Gothic wood-carvings. Notice on the left of door, a Deposition in the Tomb; (801) Madonna and Child ; then, Birth of the Virgin, with St. Anne in a bed ; and below, head of a Saint, hollow, intended to contain her skull or relics. Near it (762), decapitation of St. John Baptist, German, sixteenth century; and (789) Death of the Virgin. On the right of doorway, three reliquary heads, and (783 and 784) two groups of the Education of the Virgin. Above, several representations of the Circumcision. Wall B, between the windows, (745) quaint reliquary head of St. Mabile, one of St. Ursula’s 11,000 virgins, the hair gilt, Italian, fifteenth century ; near it, Angel of the Annunciation ; Madonna and Child ; and Flight into Egypt. Fine wooden chests. In the cases, collections of shoes, uninteresting.
Room III. Wood-carving, more or less Gothic. Wall A (788), Madonna supporting the dead Christ, under a canopy, sixteenth century ; (816) Holy Women, with small figure of the donor, kneeling ; (7o9) large carved altar-piece, end of fifteenth century ; in the centre, Crucifixion with quaintly brutal Roman soldiers, fainting Madonna, and Holy Women in fantastic head-dresses of the period ; below, Nativity, and Adoration of the Magi ; on the left side, above, Flagellation, with grotesquely cruel soldiers ; beneath it, angels displaying the napkin of St. Veronica ; on the right side, above, Deposition in the Tomb ; beneath it, angels supporting the instruments of the Passion, a splendid piece of Flemish carving. Above, two statues of St. George. Further on (712), votive triptych against the plague, Flemish, carved, with painted flaps on the doors ; on the left, St. Sebastian, with arrows of the pestilence ; on the right, St. Roch exhibiting his plague-spot, with angel who consoled him and dog who fed him (see the legend in Mrs. Jame-son) ; centre, Adoration of the Magi ; the three kings represent, as usual, the three ages of man, and also the three old continents, Europe, Asia, Africa ; hence the youngest king is represented as a Moor. Other episodes (Flight into Egypt, Return of Magi, etc.) in the background, late fifteenth century. Wall B, first window, stained glass, German panes, fifteenth century, Annunciation, in two panels (196o and 1957). Beyond it (83o), in woodwork, sixteenth century, Coronation of the Virgin by Christ and God the Father, a somewhat unusual treatment. Above (758), Stem of Jesse, representing the descent of Christ; notice David with his harp and other kings of Israel ; late fifteenth century. Second window (1958 and 1959), St. Hubert and St. Lambert, companions to the Annunciation ; (721) dainty little Crucifixion (sixteenth century), in coloured German wood-carving ; (1686) Flemish painting, school of Van Eyck, Crucifixion. Wall D, windows (1961 and 1962), St. Peter and St. George ; (1963 and 1964) St. Hubert and St. Antony Abbot, with his pig, staff, and bell. Wall C, altar-piece, unnumbered ; subjects much as opposite ; centre, Crucifixion ; beneath it, Nativity, Adoration of Magi. On the left, Way to Calvary (with grotesquely brutal soldiers); beneath it, Annunciation (notice the prie-dieu, book, and bed in the background) and Visitation ; on the right, Descent from the Cross, with St. John and the Marys ; beneath it, Circumcision, and Presentation in the Temple. (710) Deposition from the Cross, very good, with painted wings from the Passion. All the wood-carvings in this room deserve careful attention. Inspect them all, and, as far as possible, discover their subjects.
Room IV. Fine Renaissance chimney-piece, by Hugues Lallement, sixteenth century, representing Actaeon transformed into a stag by Diana, whom he has surprised in the act of bathing. (Subjects from the myth of Diana are favourites with the French Renaissance artists, owing to the influence of Diane de Poitiers.) From Châlons-sur-Marne, same house as that in Room II. Wall A (1779 and 1778), Renaissance classical paintings, part of a large series continued elsewhere ; (1428) fine Renaissance carved cabinet (Diana and Chimæras) ; contrast this and neighbouring Renaissance work with the mediæval carvings in adjacent rooms. Wall B (6329), quaint old Flemish tapestry, representing the Angels appearing to the Shepherds ; the Nativity ; the Adoration of the Magi ; and the Agony in the Garden. Study the arrangement of all these figures, which are conventional, and will reappear in many other examples of various arts. Wall C, to the right and left of fireplace, good Renaissance wood-carving. Wall D, fine cabinets. In the cases, medals.
Room V., to the side. Debased Italian and Spanish work of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the centre, Adoration of the Magi, a meretricious Neapolitan group of the seventeenth century, intended to place in a church as a Christmas berceau. The costumes of the three kings, representing the three continents, the ruined temple in which the action takes place, and the antique statue in the background of the Madonna and St. Joseph, should all be noticed. Contemptible as a work of art, this florid composition of dolls is interesting and valuable for its spirited arrangement, and for the light it casts on the conception of the subject. The room also contains other similar church furniture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Observe their theatrical tinsel style, and their affected pietism, as contrasted with the simplicity, naïveté, and truth of earlier periods. Take, as an extreme example of this tendency, the relief of the Annunciation on Wall D, to the right of the entrance door, and compare it with examples of the same subject in other rooms of the collection. Wall B, facing the entrance, good case of miscellaneous wood work, containing excellent Spanish art of this bad period, a Last Supper, a St. Francis receiving the Stigmata, a Massacre of the Innocents, the Faint of St. Catherine, St. Antony the Abbot, St. Antony of Padua carrying the infant Christ, and other figures. A large gilt tabernacle, on Wall C, also con, tains a debased figure of St. Antony of Padua, from an altar dedicated to the saint. Identify as many of these saints as possible, and remember their symbols.
We now quit the older suite of apartments, and enter a large central glass-covered court, Room VI., entirely modern. The corridor is occupied by early altar paintings, for the most part of little value. Notice on the left, by the staircase (1701), a Giottesque Madonna and Child, Florentine, fifteenth century. Near it (1666), two oval panels, representing the Annunciation, divided (as frequently happens with this subject) into two distinct portions, and probably flanking a doorway in their original position, Italian, fourteenth century. All the paintings on this wall, mostly unsatisfactory as works of art, are valuable for their symbolism and the light they throw on the evolution of their subjects. For example : (1676), between the Annunciation pictures, represents the distribution of holy wine which has touched the relics (I think) of St. Hubert. Further on, we have a group of six Apostles ; beginning from the right, St. Peter with the keys, St. John Evangelist with the cup and serpent, St. Andrew with his cross, St. Bartholomew with his knife, St. James the Greater with the pilgrim’s staff and scallop, and St. James the Less with a crosier and book. To the right of the stair-case is a stone figure of St. Denis bearing his head, French, fifteenth century ; also, a good statue of the Madonna, a little later. Above the doorway, on the right, are portions of a large Spanish altar-piece ; in the centre, the Crucifixion ; extreme right, Assumption of the Virgin, etc. Beyond it comes the continuation of the tabernacle already noticed, containing the six remaining Apostles, with the symbols of their martyrdom. Next, a fine Spanish altar-piece of the fifteenth century, from a church of St. Martin ; in the centre, St. Martin dividing his cloak with the beggar ; around it various other subjects, among them St. Antony with his pig, St. Stephen in deacon’s robes, with the stones of his martyrdom, St. Jerome in the desert, beating his bosom with a flint before the crucifix, St. Francis displaying the stigmata or five wounds of Christ, St. Paul the hermit with his lion, etc. To the right, toward the courtyard, a fine figure of Adam from St. Denis, a splendid example of the best French nude sculpture of the fourteenth century.
We now enter the covered courtyard of Room VI. proper, filled with fine examples of French mediæval sculpture. Several of the objects bear labels sufficiently descriptive. I will therefore call attention to only a few among them. Wall D, two wooden Flemish statues (Our Lady and St. John at Calvary), on the right and left of the doorway ; (417) carved marble monument of the tenth or eleventh century ; very fine workmanship, with distinct reminiscences of the antique. Wall A magnificent stone frieze or reredos, originally gilt and coloured, representing the history of St. Benedict, from St. Denis ; in the centre, Baptism in Jordan (compare the relief of the same subject in Notre-Dame) ; right and left, preaching and miracles of St. Benedict (overthrow of idols, cure of a dying woman). Middle of wall (6328), fine Italian tapestry, sixteenth century, rep-resenting the Adoration of the Magi ; observe the attitude of the kings, together with the ox and ass in the background, invariable concomitants of the Nativity in art. Beneath (728), early wooden Madonna (thirteenth century, Auvergne), with Byzantine aspect. Beautiful Romanesque capitals. Creation of Eve, etc.
Wall B, (237), exquisite stone frieze or reredos from the church of St. Germer, about 1259, much mutilated, but originally one of the most perfect specimens of French thirteenth century carving ; it still betrays traces of colour. In the centre, Crucifixion, with Virgin and St. John : on either side (as at Notre-Dame), the Church, with cross and chalice, and the Synagogue, with eyes blinded : then, on the right and left of cross, St. Peter and St. Paul : beyond them, Annunciation and Visitation : finally, on the left, St. Ouen, uncle of St. Germer, cures a wounded warrior ; on the right, St. Germer asks leave of King Dagobert to found the abbey from which this came. Above it (509), exquisitely grotesque relief of the Resurrection with sleeping Roman soldiers, one of a set in alabaster, French fourteenth century (50o to 512), all of which deserve to be inspected ; meanings of all are obvious except (501) St. Ursula. Still higher, fragment of the original Last Judgment on the central west door of Notre-Dame, Paris, before the restoration,interesting as showing the grounds on which Viollet-le-Duc proceeded ; (6322) tapestry, Arras, fifteenth century, various scriptural subjects, confused, but decipherable. Beneath it, to the left, beautiful stone relief (reredos) of the legend of St. Eustace, from the church of St. Denis, a fine French work of the fourteenth century. In the centre, Crucifixion ; extreme left, St. Eustace, hunting, is converted by the apparition of the Christ between the horns of the stag he is pursuing ; further to the right, his baptism, nude, in a font, as in all early representations ; still further to the right, his trials and history ; while he crosses a river with his children, a wolf seizes one, while a lion devours the other; last of all, reunited miraculously with his family, he and they are burned alive as martyrs by the Emperor Trajan, in a brazen bull. Observe nail boy with bellows. The whole most delicately and gracefully sculptured. Next, coloured stone relief of the Passion, French fourteenth century ; subjects, from right to left, the kiss of Judas (observe Peter drawing the sword) ; Flagellation ; Bearing the Cross, with Simon of Cyrene ; Deposition in the Tomb ; Resurrection ; and Christ in Hades, delivering Adam and Eve from the jaws of death, realistically represented here and elsewhere as the mouth of a monster; notice in this work the colour and the Gothic architecture and decoration of the background, which help one to understand features that are missing in many other of these reredoses. Then, stone relief of the Annunciation, Visitation, and Nativity, very simply treated : notice the usual ox and ass in the manger. Above it (4763), good mosaic of the Madonna and Child with adoring angels, by Davide Ghirlandajo, of Florence, placed by the President Jean de Ganay (as the inscription attests) in the church of St. Merri at Paris. Wall C (5 13-518), interesting alabaster reliefs of the Passion, French, fourteenth century. Between them, Coronation of the Virgin, French, fifteenth century. (725) Good wooden figure of St. Louis, covered with fleur-de-lis in gold, from the Sainte Chapelle. Here is the door which leads to the Musée des Thermes. Pass it by for the present. Beyond it, continuation of the alabaster reliefs (514 and and 517), etc. : examine them closely. Between them (435), Circumcision, in marble, early fif teenth century, French, full of character. Beneath it (429, etc.), admirable figures of mourners, from the tomb of Philippe le Hardi, at Dijon, fourteenth century. Wall D, again (1291), terra-cotta, coloured : Madonna and St. Joseph, with angels, adoring the Child (child missing), ox and ass in background ; on the right, Adoration of Magi ; notice once more the conventional arrangement : on the left, Marriage of the Virgin, a high priest joining her hand to Joseph’s, all under Gothic canopies, fifteenth century, from the chapel of St. Eloy, near Bernay, Eure. I omit many works of high merit.
The centre of this room is occupied by several good statues. Examine each ; the descriptive labels are usually sufficient. A noble * St. Catherine ; St. Barbara with her tower ; St. Sebastian, pierced with the holes where the arrows have been ; a beautiful long-haired wooden Madonna ; a fine Pisan Angel of the Annunciation, in wood, etc. Also, several excellent figures of Our Lady. The large part played by the Madonna in this room, indeed, is typical of her importance in France, and especially in Paris, from the thirteenth century on-ward. The church of Notre-Dame is partly a result, partly a cause, of this special cult of the Blessed Virgin.
Room VII. (beyond the corridor, a modern covered courtyard). Tapestries and textile fabrics, interesting chiefly to ladies. On Wall A, and others, Flemish tapestry, representing the history of Bathsheba, much admired and very ugly ; compare it with the tapestry of the Lady and the Unicorn, to be visited later in Room III., upstairs, contrasting them as models of what such work should and should not be. Wall B, admirable Renaissance relief of the Cardinal Virtues. Above it, a good Madonna, and figures of Grammar and Astronomy. Wall C, caryatid of inferior art, French, sixteenth century. ** (448) Admirable group of the Three Fates, attributed to Germain Pilon, the great French sculptor of the sixteenth century, whom we shall meet again at the Louvre, a fine specimen of the plastic art of the Renaissance, said to represent Diane de Poitiers and her daughters. Below (447), exquisite Re-naissance bas-relief of the huntress Diana, of the school of Jean Goujon, again in allusion to Diane de Poitiers. (478) Good mask of the same epoch. (251) Virgin and Child, meretricious ; in the decadent style of the sixteenth century ; very French in type, foreshadowing the Louis XV. spirit, the Madonna resembles a little-reputable court lady. Wall D (463, etc.), judgment of Solomon, Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Annunciation, and other reliefs in the florid and least pleasing French style of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Table by the doorway (449), exquisite small marble statue of the Deserted Ariadne (perhaps Diane de Poitiers), in the best Renaissance manner, probably by Germain Pilon : found in the Loire, near Diane’s château of Chaumont. Beside it, three sleeping Venuses, one of which is also said to be Diane de Poitiers, the goddess of the Renaissance in Paris. On the left of the door-way (457) is a singular marble relief of Christ and the Magdalen after the Resurrection (Noli me tangere) ; the Saviour strangely represented, as often, in a gardener’s hat and with a spade ; in the background, angels by the empty sepulchre ; Flemish, florid style of the sixteenth century. Beside it (467 and 468), two exquisite Renaissance reliefs of Venus. In front of it, on the table (479), Entombment, with the body of Christ placed in the sarcophagus by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, portraits, I think, of the donors.
Room VIII. Textile fabrics and ecclesiastical robes. Wall B, on the left of door (487), pretty but, meretricious little group of Venus and Cupids, with grapes, French style of the seventeenth century ; the national taste still more distinctly showing itself. To the right of door (459), in two separate figures, a quaint Annunciation, French, sixteenth century, frankly anachronistic. Close by (464), the Judgment of Solomon, same school and period. Above (563), clever small alabaster group of the Rape of the Sabines, after Giovanni da Bologna. These all stand on a hand-some French carved chest of the sixteenth century. Wall C, greatly worn altar-relief of the Adoration of the Magi, from the chapel of the Château d’Anet, French Renaissance, sixteenth century. Above it (446), Mary Magdalen, kneeling, with long hair and the alabaster box of ointment, her symbol in art, fifteenth century, curious. At the back, gilt and painted figures of the Holy Trinity, from the demolished church of St. Marcel at Paris, seventeenth century. Similar representations of the Trinity, showing the three Persons, thus, are common in Italian art. Further on (493), good figure of a shepherd, French, sixteenth century. Wall A (266), curious altar back, Herod ordering the Massacre of the Innocents. (267) St. Eustace crossing the river (see Room VI.) with the lion and the wolf seizing his children. A very different treatment from the previous one. (291) A lintel of a chimney, Flemish, dated 1555 ; centre, a river god ; left and right, pelican and eagle; between the figures, Faith, Hope, Charity, and Prudence. (273) Madonna and Child (Notre-Dame de l’Espérance, throned on an anchor). On the wall to the far left, interesting piece of French fourteenth century tapestry, with a legend of St. Marcel and St. John Evangelist, most naïvely represented.
Room IX. State coaches and Sedan chairs of the seventeenth century, as ugly as can be imagined. They need not detain you.
The staircase to the first floor is in the corridor to Room VI, Observe the staircase itself, in carved wood, bearing the arms of France and Navarre, and also the crowned initials of Henri IV. and Marie de Médicis. It was formerly in the old Chambre des Comptes of Paris, and was reërected here at the installation of the Museum.
The corridor above contains arms and armour. At the head of the staircase (742), very quaint Magdalen in wood with the box of ointment ; German in style, fifteenth century ; observe her long hair, here twisted and plaited with German neatness. (1466 and 1468) Renaissance cabinets in ebony.
Room I.Gallery, looking down on the courtyard of Room VI., below. Wall D, by which you enter; tiles, French Renaissance. Wall C, first case, blue Flemish stoneware. Fine wrought-iron gates, gilt. In front of them, female satyr, French, eighteenth century, very characteristic of the national taste ; opposite it, male satyr, the same, Second case : Palissy ware, French, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This fine ware is full of Renaissance feeling. Notice particularly (3140), a Sacrifice of Abraham ; (3145) the Baptism in Jordan, conventional treatment ; (3139) Judith and Holofernes, with several other scriptural scenes in the older spirit ; intermingled with these are classical and mythological scenes, displaying the growing love for the nude ; observe particularly (3119), a Venus with Cupids ; and another dish below it, unnumbered, same subject ; also, a Creation of Eve ; (3131) Susanna and the Elders, and other scenes of similar character. Observe that while the early work is purely scriptural or sacred, the Renaissance introduces classical subjects. Note, too, the frequent scenes of the Baptism in the same connection, Centre (3102), beautiful vase with lid, of the period of Henri II. Study all the Palissy ware. Wall B, French pottery of the eighteenth century, exhibiting the rapid decline in taste under Louis XIV. and XV., especially as regards colour. The most satisfactory pieces are the blue and white dishes with royal mono-grams, arms, etc. Second case : Rouen ware of the eighteenth century, far superior in style and tone to the preceding. Good nude figure of Venus. Wall A, Nevers pottery, delicate blue and white ; (3338) figure of a page, to support a lamp. Last case : Dutch pottery, Delft, eighteenth century, exhibiting the strong domestic Dutch tendency.
Room II. Also galleries, surrounding a courtyard. Exquisite Italian Renaissance pottery. Wall B, to the right of entrance, beautiful Italian specimens of Faenza ware, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries (whence the word faïence) ; these should be closely studied in detail. (2811) Quaint dish with Diana as archer ; beside it, portraits. (2824 and 2825) Decorative plaques with heads of women. (3949) St. George and the Dragon in green pottery. Behind it, plate’ with admirable portrait. In the same case, Judith receiving the head of Holofernes ; (3024) Hercules playing the lyre to entice Auge. Wall C, first case, Deruta and Chaffagiolo ware of the sixteenth century. Exquisite decorative dishes and plaques ; (2814) Actæon changed to a stag by Diana. (2849) Susanna and the Elders. (2887) St. Jerome in the desert, with his lion. (2895) The doubting Thomas. (2823) Another Actæon. Observe frequent repetition of certain scenes. Fine plates with arms of Medici, Popes, etc. Second case : Deruta ware, still more splendid specimens, many of them with remarkable lustre. (2894) Madonna and Child, with infant St, John of Florence. Other plates with Mercury, a sphinx, a lion, the huntress Diana, a Moor’s head, portraits, and decorative designs. Examine in detail. Wall D, first case, Casteldurante and Gubbio ware, sixteenth century. (3007) Manius Curtius leaping into the Forum. (3015) Crucifixion, with the sun and the moon darkened. (3004) Daedalus and the Minotaur. (3008) Fine conventional design. Other plates have heads of St. Paul and mythological persons. (2802) A quaint Temptation of St. Antony. (2818) Leda and the Swan, etc. Second case : Urbino ware, seventeenth century. Head of Raphael, and delicate Raphaelesque scenes, instinct with the later Renaissance feeling. (2961) Perseus and Andromeda. (3064) Expulsion from Paradise ; on either side, Temptation, and Adam eating the fruit. (2872) A Baptism in Jordan. Notice again the mixture of religious and mythological scenes, with a preference for those where the nude is permissible, Judith and Holofernes, Orpheus, etc. Wall A, a fine Florentine terra-cotta bust of the young St. John, patron saint of the city. More Urbino ware, to be carefully examined. The greater part of this wall, however, is occupied by ** Della Robbia ware, glazed Florentine majolica of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. (2794) Fine figure of St. Michael. (2799) Martyrdom of St. Catherine, the wheels of her torture broken by angels. Above it, Madonna adoring the Child ; observe in this and many other cases the beautiful setting of fruit and flowers, characteristic of the Della Robbias. Beneath, no number, the Beheading of St. Catherine ; in the background, angels conveying her soul to heaven. (2795) The infant St. John, patron saint of Florence. (2793) Temperance, with flagon and patera. Then, more Urbino ware, very fine examples of the end of the sixteenth century ; above them, touching Madonna and Child, Della Robbia. Wall B, again, Castello ware, and Venetian pottery, fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. Apothecary’s jars, plaques, etc., extremely beautiful.
Room III. A long corridor. Wall A is entirely occupied by the * magnificent suite of six early French tapestries, known as “The Lady and the Unicorn ” (symbol of chastity), the finest work of its sort ever executed. They come from the Château de Boussac, and belong to the second half of the fifteenth century. The Lady is represented engaged in various domestic pursuits of a woman of rank of her time, always accompanied by the beast of chastity. The colour is inexpressibly lovely. Above it, similar tapestry representing the history of St. Stephen, and the discovery of his relics. Along Wall A, on the right of entrance door (774), crowned wooden figure of St. Catherine, holding the sword of her martyrdom, her broken wheel at her feet, and trampling upon the tyrant, Maximian. To the left of door, good early Madonna and Child ; another St. Catherine ; and (76o) Magdalen, described erroneously (I think) as Pandora. Wall B is mostly occupied by a handsome French Renaissance chimneypiece (sixteenth century), brought here from a house at Rouen, and representing the history of the Casa Santa at Loreto, its transport over the sea by angels, its reception by the faithful, and worship in front of it. The ceiling above also comes from the same room. Wall C, small stained-glass windows of various ages. Examine them separately. Wall D, large enamelled plaques brought from François Premier’s Château of Madrid, in the Bois de Boulogne, stated to be the largest enamels in existence. Beneath them, fine wooden statue of the Virgin and infant Christ, German, fifteenth century, very characteristic in its flat features, as well as in the dress and treatment of the hair, of the German style of the period. Compare it with French Madonnas below. The screens toward Wall A contain specimens of fine Renaissance wood-carving. Contrast the finish and style of these with their Gothic predecessors. Notice, near the chimneypiece (828), an Annunciation, with God the Father, wearing a triple crown (like the Pope), and the Holy Spirit descending upon the Madonna. Next screen, various classical scenes in the taste of the Renaissance, Judgment of Paris, Venuses, and Cupids, etc. Much fine nude Renaissance detail. Centre case, old glass ; notice, in particular (4763), fine thirteenth century Arab mosque-lamp. Further on, more Renaissance wood-carving, Leda and the Swan in very high relief ; low reliefs of classical subjects and decorative panels. All these works should be closely studied as typically illustrative of Renaissance feeling. Cases by the window ( Wall C), Limoges and other enamels, too numerous to treat in full detail, but many of them, at least, should be closely inspected and comprehended by the visitor. Case, next the chimneypiece, old raised enamels (twelfth and thirteenth centuries), enamelled gold reliquaries for containing bones of saints ; fine crucifix, etc. Notice on (4497), the Flight into Egypt, Peter walking on the Sea, the Adoration of the Magi, and the Presentation in the Temple on (4498), the Crucifixion, and the Twelve Apostles; beneath (4514), enamelled book-cover; near it, Crucifixion, Adoration of the Magi, and other figures. Identify as many of these as possible, and observe their archaic striving after effects too high for the artist. Second case : Limoges enamels, more modern in type (fifteenth century) : Madonna holding the dead Christ, Crucifixion, Bearing of the Cross, and other scenes.
Notice particularly (4575), little triptych with a Nativity, Adoration of the Magi, and Circumcision, in all of which observe the conventional treatment. Third case : Limoges enamels of the High Renaissance (sixteenth and seventeenth centuries), Raphaelesque in spirit, better in execution, but far less interesting ; good portraits in frames ; a fine Flagellation, and other scenes from the Passion ; above, delicate Tazzas. Observe in particular (4628), the Descent into Hell, Christ rescuing Adam and Eve and the other dead from Hades, typically Renaissance. On the far side of the case, remote from window, a good series of the Gospel history, Marriage of the Virgin, Annunciation, Birth of the Virgin (incorrectly labelled Nativity), etc. Last cases : more re-cent enamels. Among the best are, in the last case of all, the Expulsion from Paradise, and a series of the Gospel history; observe particularly (465o), Christ and the Magdalen, with the usual curious disguise as a gardener. I recommend, to those who can spare the time, most attentive detailed study of the subjects and treatment in all these enamels, many of which throw much light on similar themes treated by other arts in the same collection. Several hours should, if possible, be devoted to them.
Room IV. contains various Mohammedan potteries, exquisitely decorative, but (owing to the general absence of figure subjects, prohibited by Islam) requiring comparatively little explanation. Occasional animal forms, however, occur in the midst of the usually decorative arabesque patterns. Wall C, to the left of entrance, charming Rhodian pottery (made by Persian workmen), in prevailing tones of blue and green, with the wonderful Persian feeling for colour. Wall B, Hispano-Moorish lustre ware, the most exquisitely beautiful ever manufactured. The second case contains several lovely specimens. Wall A, Rhodian ware again. Wall D, Persian. The reader must examine these minutely for himself. It is impossible to do more than point out their beauty.
Room V. Jewish works of art of the Middle Ages, interesting as showing the wealth and artistic taste of the mediaeval Hebrews, phylacteries, seven-branched candlesticks, gold-smiths’ work, etc. (188) Chimneypiece (Christian) from an old house at Le Mans. The groups represent the three ages of life : right and left, the two sexes, man, armed ; woman, with a ball of wool.
Room VI. Wall C, opposite windows, carved chest (1360), French, seventeenth century, with figures in high relief of the Twelve Apostles. The paintings above it (1704, 1707, 1714), etc., are the fronts of similar chests, Florentine, fifteenth century. Such boxes were commonly given to a bride to contain her trousseau and household linen. For instance, one (1710) contains the mythical history of a betrothal and wedding ((Aeneas and Lavinia). The others have in many cases similar appropriate subjects from classical story. (1455) Florentine mosaic cabinet, in the worst taste. Beyond it, other cabinets and fronts of wedding chests. This room also contains musical instruments, interesting as illustrating the evolution of modern forms. Also, florid Italian inlaid tables, in the bad ex-pensive taste of the seventeenth century. In the windows stained glass.
Room VII. Carved oak cabinets. (1435) Good Flemish work of the seventeenth century.
Room VIII. (189) Carved chimneypiece, similar to that in the Jewish room, and from the same house ; marriage scene, allegorical. Carved wooden cabinets and portals, all interesting, but requiring little description. (1431) Again the favourite Renaissance device of Acton and Diana. Carved oak bed, of age of François Ier, with hangings of the same period. (1509) Good panel of a chair, with the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple by Sts. Joachim and Anna ; above, Nativity ; then Adoration of the Magi, and Flight into Egypt ; on the front, patron saints of the owners.
Room IX. – Magnificent collection of ivories and ebonies, all of which the spectator should examine in detail. Nothing in this museum is more interesting. Notice, for ex-ample, the beautiful triptych (1081) in the centre of the first case by the window of Wall D ; lower tier, Annunciation ; Shepherds ; Joseph and the Madonna, with the Babe in the manger ; and Adoration of the Magi ; upper tier, Kiss of Judas, Crucifixion, and Christ and the Magdalen in the Garden ; beautiful Italian work of the fourteenth century. To the left of it ** (1088), exquisite coloured triptych with Madonna and Child ; on the left, St. Paul (with his sword) and St. Catherine ; on the right St. Peter and the Magdalen ; notice their symbols, Several small ivories in the same case should be observed carefully. Below the large triptych, for example, are scenes from the Passion (not chronologically arranged in their existing order), namely, from left to right, Crown of Thorns, Scourging, Resurrection, Ascension, Disciples at Emmaus, Apparition to the three Marys, Peter on the Sea, and Christ with the Magdalen ; very naïve French work of the fifteenth century. (718) Exquisite little wood-carving of the Crucifixion, with scenes from the Passion ; Spanish, sixteenth century. Above it (7227), comb, with Adoration of the Magi ; fourteenth century, very curious. The next case contains still earlier and more interesting work. In the centre, a triptych ; lower tier, Adoration of the Magi, Madonna with angels, Presentation in the Temple ; upper tier, Bearing the Cross, Crucifixion, and Descent from the Cross ; exquisite French work, in high relief, of the four. teenth century. To the left of it (1082), scenes from the Passion, Last Supper, Agony in the Garden, Kiss of Judas (with Peter cutting off Malchus’s ear), Flagellation, etc. Each compartment here consists of two subjects, which identify ; charming French work of the four-teenth century. Above it (1085 and 1086), secular scenes, life in a garden, fourteenth century. To the right of the triptych (1065, 1063, 1066, 1064), legends of saints ; St. Denis beheaded and bearing his head ; flagellation of an unknown martyr, who takes it most comfortably ; St. Peter crucified, head downward ; and other episodes, charming French fourteenth century work. Examine all the pieces in this case carefully. In the first case, toward the centre of the room, early ivory carvings, a * consular diptych of the fifth or sixth century, very interesting ; and other works still displaying classical influence. (1035) Byzantine, Christ and saints. (1049) Death of the Virgin ; fine work showing Byzantine influence ; twelfth century. (1054) Extremely rude Northern eleventh century ivory, representing scriptural scenes, mingled with decorative animals treated in withy-band fashion. (1038) Fine Italo-Byzantine plaque with Crucifixion and Saints, the name of each inscribed beside him. Central case : ivory statuettes, all deserving close attention. (1032) Antique Roman goddess. (1037) Fine early French Madonna ; tenth century. Behind her (1052), beautiful ivory reliquary, French, twelfth century, with figures of saints ; to the left the personages of the Adoration (i. e., the Three Kings) bearing their gifts, and with their names inscribed above them ; on the right the person-ages of the Presentation, Madonna, Joseph, Simeon. Further side (1060), beautiful coloured ivory coffer, fourteenth century, with numerous scriptural scenes, easily recognisable ; identify them. Inspect also the ebony cabinets, of which (1458), time of Henri IV., with classical scenes, is a magnificent Renaissance example. By Wall A, more ebony cabinets and carvings, and exquisite ivory statuettes, of later date, among which notice particularly (1141) a Portuguese Madonna ; (1163) a Spanish St. Peter ; (1164) Spanish St. Antony of Padua ; and (1167) a very curious Peruvian Good Shepherd, showing distinct traces of native art, influenced by introduced Spanish feeling. Further to the right, good classical figures of the later Renaissance. I have only indicated a few of the most interesting among these exquisite carvings ; but many hours may be devoted to this room, by those who can afford the time, with great advantage.
Room X. Bronzes and Renaissance metal work, mostly self-explanatory. (193) Chimney-piece from a house in Troyes, French, sixteenth century; Plenty, surrounded by fauns and trophies. Good collection of keys, knives, etc.
Room XI. Goldsmith’s work and objects in the precious metals. Wall A (4988), gold altar-piece of the Emperor Henry II., of Germany, with Christ, and figures of saints, bearing their names above them, given by the Emperor to Bâle Cathedral in the beginning of the eleventh century. Central case, the Guerrazar find : votive offerings of crowns of the early Gothic kings of Spain, the largest one being that of Reccesvinthus (died 672), discovered near Toledo. The crowns are rude Byzantine work of the seventh century, inlaid with precious stones. The names inscribed below them were probably added when they were made into votive offerings. Uninteresting as works of art, these curious relics possess great value as specimens of the decadent workmanship of their period. Most of the other objects in this room derive their importance more from the material of which they are composed than from artistic beauty, or even relative antiquarian importance.
Of these (4994), in the case near Wall D, rep-resents the Last Supper, with the fish which in very early Christian work is a symbol of Christ. Near it, quaint figures of the four Evangelists, writing, with their symbols. Other symbols of the Evangelists in the same case. Quaint Nuremberg figure of St. Anne, holding on her knee the crowned Madonna, and a little box to contain a relic. (5008) Reliquary foot of a saint, to enclose his bones ; it bears his name, Alard. (4995) Curious figure of the Madonna, Limoges work, very Byzantine in aspect. Other cases contain crucifixes, monstrances, and similar articles of church furniture in the precious metals, mostly of early date. The case by Wall B has Gallic torques and Merovingian jewelry.
Return to Room VIII. and enter Room XII. to the right. It contains bed furniture and book-bindings. (782) Fine Renaissance Flagellation, after Sebastiano del Piombo.
From this room we enter the chapel, a small apartment, with roof sustained by a single pillar. Good niches, now destitute of their saints ; church furniture of the Middle Ages, much of which deserves close attention. (708) Fine wooden altar-piece, Flemish, fifteenth century centre, the Mass of St. Gregory, with Christ appearing bodily in the Holy Sacrament ; beneath it, adoring angels ; left wing, Abraham and Melchisedek, frankly mediæval ; right wing, the Last Supper; an excellent specimen. Other objects are : (726) Stiff early wooden Madonna. (723) Crucifix, Auvergne, twelfth century. (727) St. John. End wall, Annunciation, with the Madonna separated, as often, from the Angel Gabriel by a vase of lilies.
The staircase in the corner leads out to the garden, where are several fragments of stone decoration. Pass through the door, and traverse Room VI. ; the opposite door leads to Les Thermes, the remains of the old Roman palace. The scanty remnant, as its name indicates, consists entirely of the baths attached to the building. The masonry is massive. Fragments of Roman altars and other remains found in Paris are arranged round the room. The descriptive labels are sufficient for the purposes of identification.
If this brief survey of Cluny has succeeded in interesting you in mediæval art, buy the official catalogue, come here often, and study it in detail.