If Adam (top panel, looking all naked and mortified) could have glimpsed the beauty in store - check out those dancing jewel-tone reflections on the wall behind him - maybe he'd have grokked that being expelled from Eden wasn't such a bad thing after all.
The I.D.: I took this shot of the Paschal candlestick at The Cloisters in December. The decoration of the hexagonal candlestick is organized in three tiers: The upper register is devoted to the Old Testament (Adam and Eve, the Expulsion of Adam and Eve, etc.); the second register features various saints; the third register (out of view) is loaded with apostles.
Did you know? The Cloisters is patterned on the monasteries that mushroomed during the Middle Ages - a rambling structure of halls, chapels, cloisters and gardens intended to evoke, rather than duplicate, the originals of which they once were part. Contrary to what some believe, The Cloisters is not an entire monastery brought stone by stone from Europe and reassembled on its perch in Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park.
Much of the art collection came from that of George Grey Barnard, an American sculptor and collector of medieval art, who had already established a medieval-art museum near his home in the Fort Washington neighborhood. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. purchased Barnard's entire collection of art and architectural remnants as a gift to the Met; this collection, combined with a number of pieces from Rockefeller's own collection (including the Unicorn tapestries), became the core of the new Cloisters' holdings.
The Cloisters gets its name from its incorporation of five cloisters - the covered walkways where monks strolled, prayed and did manuscript illumination as well as their laundry - from the French monasteries of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, Bonnefont-en-Comminges, Trie and Froville. The museum opened in 1938.
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