Contemplative Sunday

Saint Sulpice’s organist, Daniel Roth, popped his head over the edge of the organ loft to take three bows for his appreciative audience. I didn’t recognise the pieces he played but the sound filling this cavernous space was magnificent and meditative at once.

This frame of mind was perfect for contemplating the tapestries at the Cluny Museum. I was grateful for the thoughtful guide we’d had at Angers when we considered the messages in the revelation tapestries there.

At the Cluny, this tapestry is in the Treasures section. I photographed part of it because of the dog on the woman’s lap and the kitten playing with the spindle of wool.

What could the weaving represent? Is a letter being read? What is the symbolism behind the particular animals, birds, plants and fruit? It’s a puzzle.

The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries in six panels, five representing the five senses, are the most intriguing. The woman in each one is the same. Was she real or is she allegorical? A lion and a unicorn appear as prominently in each, as does a lady in waiting.

As with the Monet panels in L’Orangerie, these six huge tapestries are hung in a large space with benches in the centre so you can sit and look closely. The room was dimly lit and no flash photography allowed, so I didn’t risk a photo.

An ante room displayed illuminated books about unicorns, so you could consider their meanings.

There was also a room with modern representations, including a black and white unicorn floor rug with massive hooves attached – and head and horn.

I bought a book about the tapestries to discover more about them. They were rescued just in time, and more may have been lost, even cut up and used for cart blankets and floor rugs.

Out into the sunshine again, and Gibert Joseph bookshop on Boulevard St Michel was giving away Panama hats with its summer reading.

It was time for refreshments in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Ulverstone Victoria High School (Cumbria) Swing Band entertained nearby.

It was a beautiful day to be in my favourite place in Paris.

Meanwhile, at the end of my street, crowds were gathering at bars to watch the World Cup final.

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