There are a few places that I most certainly will revisit every time i have the opportunity to visit Paris.
THE CLUNY: Filled to the brim with my favourite medieval objects. Topping the list are the 6 tapistries named after the last, “the lady with the unicorn”, and said to refer to our 6 senses. Whatever! After reading Umberto Eco’s book on beauty in the Middle Ages, i think not. It is deeply satisfying to sit in front of the tapistries and try to “read” them with a medieval mind. I find them very erotic. She was definitely planning to give her virginity as a gift to her lover, here portraid by the unicorn, but more later when i have seen her again.
Then there is the Church of St-Germain Auxerrois opposite the louvre. It is dark and relatively unimposing, but alive with the ghosts of past indiscretions. I felt the skirt of Marguirite de Valois, misunderstood daughter of Catherine de Medici, brush my knee as i sat in the nave. It is very easy to mistake the muffled outside noises for the soft cries of murdered huguenots.
I avoided the busy louvre the first time ivisited Paris, but 3 years ago i went on the busiest, the first Sunday of the month when entrance is free, and “discouvered” Rubens. To be precise, the huge hall where hangs his large history paintings depicting the highly romanticized marriage of Marie de Medici to Henry of Navarre (now Henry IV). Its not her overindulgent imagination that impresses, but Rubens the painter who could invest the paintings with his love of composition, textures, flesh, and minute detail that keeps ons staring at each painting for ages.
Can’t wait to see my friends again!!