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By Geneviève Souchal

The current exhibition is one in every of a chain of 5 labored out within the partnership among the Metropolitan Museum and the Réunion des Musées Nationaux of France. The others are: Nineteenth-Century French Drawings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Italian Renaissance Drawings from the Louvre, proven on the Metropolitan in October 1974; Impressionism, which incorporated a few forty-five of the best work within the kind and was once visible on the Louvre in September and right here in December 1974; and at last, French portray from David to Delacroix, which opened in Paris within the iciness of 1974, via showings on the Detroit Institute of artwork within the spring of 1975 and the Metropolitan within the summer.

Following its visual appeal on the Grand Palais in Paris, Masterpieces of Tapestry was once offered in manhattan in organization with and below the patronage of the nationwide Endowment for the arts, and the nationwide Endowment for the humanities, and below the sponsorship of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Heller of recent York urban. with out the extreme relief of the 2 Endowments and the enlightened generosity of those art-loving deepest buyers the exhibition easily do not need been attainable here.

As one contemplates such treasures because the huge, immense tapestry from the Apocalypse sequence at Angers, the incomparable six items of the Lady with the Unicorn from the Cluny Museum (shown for the first—and most likely last—time with The Cloisters' Hunt of the Unicorn set), the 4 tremendous items lent us by way of the Hermitage in Leningrad, the items from the Cluny Museum of the David and Bathsheba set, and the famed Winged Stags from the Cathedral of Rouen, it can be important to notice what tapestries themselves are within the large standpoint of background. As early as paintings is recorded we're conscious of man's urge to remodel inside partitions from easy, mute surfaces into panoramas of triumph, acts of religion, or modes of ornamental elegance. From the partitions of Lascaux and Altamira to Thera, to the painted stoas of the Acropolis, to the Clubhouse of the Cnidians at Delphi, the place Polygnotos' scenes of the underworld might as soon as be visible, to the palace of the Macedonian kings at Pella, to Pompeii and Herculaneum and Boscoreale, to Bury St. Edmunds and palaces and castles of the center Ages—and certainly even to our personal day—man has destroyed the grim immutability of partitions with unique artifices, tapestries being now not the least of those in additional contemporary instances. a result of tapestry's imperviousness to chilly and damp, it used to be in a feeling northern Europe's solution to the fresco of southern lands. [This publication was once initially released in 1974 and has long gone out of print. This variation is a print-on-demand model of the unique book.]

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