The unicorn of New York | Catalonia



Look there are things to do in New York to go find a unicorn that also lives beyond Harlem. I disembarked in the city with the secret agenda of finally finding myself with the legendary creature that lives in The Cloisters (the Cloisters), the medieval subsidiary of the Metropolitan (Met), a place that I had always resisted because it is tedious to desmano. I wanted to contemplate one of the two most famous unicorns in the world to have the collection complete. I did not think it would surpass the Cluny Museum in Paris, which is with the famous and enigmatic Lady of the Unicorn, a medieval Mona Lisa, and that is one of the images that most excites me in this world, without being able to say what its intoxicating magic consists of. A whirlwind of beauty, sensuality, colors and mystery that leaves you spiritually demolished as if you had struck a ray in your soul. With the antecedent of the Parisian lady, her unicorn and her disconcerting message of "Mon seul desir", the New York equine, who is alone, without a lady, seemed less interesting to me, but my curiosity stung me.

As I was traveling in addition to see George R. R. Martin, the author of Game of Thrones, on the occasion of his new novel that is full of other mythical animals, the dragons, everything seemed to have a suggestive coherence, although I discovered -nothing is perfect- that in flight low cost of Norwegian do not give you any water. The encounter with Martin was very exciting and not only it supposed me a previous dive in the medieval via Poniente and the Seven Kingdoms but, taking him to sign my battered copy of his novel Death of light, a sentimental romp, because I was reunited with that melancholy story of a love and a break that takes place on a planet that dies when it gets away from its suns.

The next morning I went to the Cloisters, in the far north of Manhattan, with a Bangladeshi taxi driver with whom we talked passionately about the man-eating tigers of the Sunderband but who had no idea where the place was. We arrived, I do not know how, and I went to the museum ready to take a dip in Medioevo and have fun looking for relationships with Game of Thrones. It did not cost me anything to do it. From the outset, the Cloisters are in the Tryon Park, which will not deny me that Lannister sounds very. Then I saw inside a plaque in recognition of Alice Tully, who was an opera singer, philanthropist and cousin of Katharine Hepburn but whose surname is the same as the Tully House of Riverrun. I had a great time contemplating dragons, like the portal of the church of San Leonardo al Frigido or the huge fresco of the Benedictine monastery of Arlanza that seems torn from the palace of the Targaryen, although I doubt that anyone would have dared to take it away. there. As is known, The Cloisters gathers a splendid medieval collection depredated; among other things, the elements with which the four cloisters that give it its name have been reconstructed (if you see them, José Ángel Montañés gives him astonishment), and that John D. Rockefeller Jr. bought a day that had money loose.

After delaying as much as possible the appointment to increase the morbid, in the end I found shuddering pass the Door of the Unicorn, a sculpted threshold from Auvergne and through which you enter the room 17 where is the famous legendary creature. The unicorn of the Cloisters is actually seven that appear represented in a series of tapestries (seven also, although one does not come out and another appears in two), but the emblematic one - and one of the best known works of art in the world - is the one that is represented alone, enclosed in a fence surrounded by flowers and tied by a chain to a tree, a pomegranate. There are doubts and many unknowns about what represents the series of tapestries, known as The hunting of the unicorn and created in Brussels between 1495 and 1505, almost at the same time as the equally enigmatic The lady of the unicorn (1480-90) -only once have the two groups been together, in the winter of 1973-74 in Paris: it must have been an overdose of symbolism and beauty-.

The unicorn, with its rare and salvific horn - there is one in the room, narwhal - is a very complex symbol in which opposites such as virginity and fecundity are mixed, and which alludes to concepts such as light, danger and ungraspable Not to mention that the front appendix is ​​more phallic than the Trump Tower.

The scholars (see The unicorn tapestries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Adolfo Salvatore Cavallo, 2016) believe that the Cloisters tapestries, which belonged to the La Rochefoucauld and were hung in the castle of Verteuil, being saved by the hair of the Revolution and covering an era the planting of potatoes, belong in reality to two different series united and that would address two different themes: a mystical hunting of the unicorn related to the Passion of Christ and another (much more fun) that would have to do with courtly love and in which the unicorn would be the lover. I do not know, I'm not Panofsky, and the unicorn, with its rare and salvific horn-there is one in the room, narwhal, which was the animal that most inspired the belief in unicorns, is a very complex symbol in which they mix opposites such as virginity and fertility, and that alludes to concepts such as light, the dangerous and the ungraspable; Not to mention that the front appendix is ​​more phallic than the Trump Tower. But what I can tell you is that the contemplation of the tapestries leaves you stunned. It is one of the most impressive artistic experiences (and of the others) that one can have. Of course as exciting as Paris. Something magical, supernatural, impregnates those works, cuts your breath and puts you on the verge of tears. It is also true that I was fasting with the exception of some pralines shared with the taxi driver, which undoubtedly helps to suffer an acute outbreak of Stendhal syndrome.

The different pictures of the unicorn hunt, some very bloody (but at the same time very sexually connoted), with the animal beaten by the hunters' pikes and covered the snowy body with bleeding wounds, and himself gutting with his portentous horn a dog, culminate in the tapestry of the imprisoned unicorn, from which it costs to separate the eyes, such is his capacity for seduction. My subjective impression (if it is worth anything) is that the image alludes to a sort of sublimation of sensuality that resolves, by way of short binding, the dangerous, erotic impulses represented by the unicorn. It is believed that the tapestries could be a wedding gift. The unicorn would symbolize that the vehemences of polite, romantic love are safeguarded with the chain of marriage and the self-sacrifice of the libido. The captive animal is seen in its beautiful meadow of flowers; but I, that I have peeked into his wild eyes, I would not trust a hair.

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