Friday, September 23, 2016

Capital




The Met's new blockbuster "Jerusalem 1000-1400: Every People Under Heaven" (which we got to see early as members) is full of discoveries, and presented as if one were discovering them in the covered markets and alleyways of today's city. (Overhead are beautiful slides of the city which turn out to be videos with only the most occasional move-
ment - a tree blowing in the wind, someone passing through a doorway - revealing that time has not stopped.) Of the many surprises I successfully snuck pictures only of the 12th century "crusader capitals" found in 1908 at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. Buried before ever being used (probably because Saladin was about to retake the city) they look as if they were carved yesterday. But they're also really weird. The knee-buckles and long faces look 12th century French but the costumes feel somehow central Asian and of gauzy attic fabric - and everyone's knees seem to peek out! A form of Christian art I'd never encountered before, what a delight! 

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