Captive Unicorn tapestry


The Captive Unicorn tapestry is woven in two sizes: 53″x37″and 74″x50″ – Please note that the larger size is non-returnable. See tapestry description below.

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Tapestry Description

Captive Unicorn tapestry

The Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries

The Captive Unicorn tapestry is the last scene in the late 15th century series The Hunt of the Unicorn, also known as The Unicorn Tapestries. They were possibly commissioned for the wedding of Louis XII of France and Anne of Brittany in 1491 (later she was to marry Louis XII at Nantes – see our Banquet tapestry).

The seven Unicorn Tapestries were woven between 1495 and 1505 in Brussels in wool and silk with gilt and silver threads. The weavers used three plants for the dyes: woad for blue, madder for red, and weld for yellow. The series features about 100 different plants. The Captive Unicorn tapestry shows the magical unicorn in settings full of allegorical symbols expressing purity and fertility, Christian and human love. The unicorn (representing purity) is attached by a golden chain to a pomegranate tree (fertility). The A and reversed E might refer to Anne of Brittany. They were looted from the Rochefoucald family during the French Revolution and are now displayed at the Metropolitan Cloisters thanks to the gift of John D. Rockefeller.

This is the finest version available today of the Captive Unicorn tapestry, woven in France by Jules Pansu in a full, rich weave of 64% cotton and 32% wool. It is lined, with a rod pocket – we enclose information about hanging tapestries with your order. Please note that the larger size is non-returnable.

Below is a detail of the central portion of this medieval tapestry:

The Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries - The Captive Unicorn tapestry detail

Teresa sent us this photo of this scene from The Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries hanging in the hallway of her Edmonton home covering an old telephone nook:

The Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries - Captive Unicorn tapestries