Nave capital illustrating the Mystic Mill from Sainte-Madeleine, Vézelay, Burgundy, France, c. 1120-32. Image taken from ARTstor.
"[This] capital depicts what seems at first glance to be a labor of the month, with two men busy grinding wheat into flour. But this literal reading conceals others as well: allegorical, tropological (moralizing), and eschatological levels of meaning that were prescribed for reading the scripture in the Middle Ages. The two laborers can be identified as the short-bearded Moses, supplying the wheat from a sack, and the long-bearded Saint Paul, collecting the flour below. Thus the allegory: the rough stock of the Old Testament is collected by Paul in the form of the sweet flour of the New to feed the pious." (Description taken from Art of the Middle Ages second edition by Snyder, Luttikhuizen, and Verkerk; published by Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2006.)
Ten years ago today, on May 31, 2003, the Amber Room at Tsarskoe Selo was declared open to the public. The original Amber Room — a gift from Wilhelm I of Germany to Peter the Great — disappeared during World War II but was recreated in 2003 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the founding of St. Petersburg.