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The Unicorn Tapestries

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The Hunt of the Unicorn

The seven tapestries collectively known as The Hunt of the Unicorn or The Unicorn Tapestries have been declared one of the finest examples in history of the art of tapestry. Their origins are shrouded in mystery, with few clues as to whom they were made for. Housed in the Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, these tapestries depict the hunt for and capture of a unicorn.


What is Tapestry?

A brief overview

Tapestry is a form of textile art, woven on a vertical loom. It is composed of two sets of interlaced threads, those running parallel to the length (called the "warp") and those parallel to the width (called the "weft"). The warp threads are set up under tension on a loom, and the weft thread is passed back and forth across part or all of the warps.

Most weavers use a naturally based warp thread such as linen or cotton. The weft threads are usually wool or cotton, but may include silk, gold, silver, or other alternatives.

Tapestries have been used since at least Hellenistic times. Samples of Greek tapestry have been found preserved in the desert of Tarim Basin dating from the 3rd century BC. Tapestry reached a new stage in Europe in the early fourteenth century AD. The first wave of production originated in Germany and Switzerland. Over time, the craft expanded to France and the Netherlands.

The success of decorative tapestry can be partially explained by its portability. Kings and noblemen could roll up and transport tapestries from one residence to another. In churches, they could be displayed on special occasions. Tapestries were also draped on the walls of castles for insulation during winter, as well as for decorative display.

In the Middle Ages and renaissance, a rich tapestry panel known as a baldachin (or a canopy of state or cloth of state), woven with symbolic emblems, mottoes, or coats of arms, was hung behind and over a throne as a symbol of authority.

Tapestries are still made at the factory of Gobelins and a few other old European workshops, which also repair and restore old tapestries. The craft is also currently practiced by hobbyist weavers.


History of The Unicorn Tapestries

A brief overview.

The creation of the tapestries is thought to have been between 1495-1505, in the areas of Brussels or Liège in the Southern Netherlands. For whom the tapestries were woven remains a mystery. There are clues but no conclusive evidence to give scholars a solid answer.

The weavers were generally young men and each Unicorn tapestry likely had a team of between 4-6 working on it. They wove only by daylight, to insure that the colors were consistent and not distorted by candlelight. One tapestry would have taken a team at least a year to complete. The weavers used a mixture of silk and wool, as well as silver and gilt (gold) wefts.

What we do know is the tapestries were in the possession of the La Rochefoucauld family of France for centuries and hung in the family's chateau in Verteuil, a town in Charente, north of Bordeaux.

In 1789 a mob of peasants raided the chateau during the French Revolution, taking the Unicorn Tapestries. The La Rochefoucauld family fled the uprising but eventually returned. Two generations later, in 1855, the La Rochefoucauld family asked for locals who might still have the tapestries to come forward with them so the then duc du La Rochefoucauld could buy them back. Some local farming families produced the Unicorn Tapestries and ownership of the Unicorn Tapestries returned to the La Rochefoucauld family.

During the "lost" years, the tapestries were used by the farming families to protect potatoes in barns and wrap fruit trees during the winter to keep them from freezing. Surprisingly the tapestries had not suffered much damage and were in good condition.

In 1922, La Rochefoucauld sold the tapestries to John D Rockefeller, Jr. for just over a million dollars. He kept them in his Fifth Avenue apartment before donating them to the Cloisters in 1937. The Cloisters is the branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art dedicated to the art and architecture of the European Middle Ages and is located in upper Manhattan, a borough of New York City, NY.

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The Start of the Hunt

The Start of the Hunt

At the beginning, the Lord, the Master of the Hunt and the companions gather in a meadow on the edge of the forest before the hunt begins. Among the dogs used in the hunt were the lymer or scenting hound, the greyhound, and the mastiff.

When a lymerer (named after the lymer, or scent hound) tracked an animal to its lair, he first marked the place then brought back droppings of the animal to the meadow where a nobleman and his hunting party had gathered for breakfast.

After meeting with all of the lymerers, the lord (or his deputy, the Master of the Hunt) decided which animal would be hunted. Then relays of kennelmen, each with a pair of leashed hounds, set out to cover the line of retreat that the quarry was thought to take when it broke from cover.

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From the trees in the distance, the call comes out that the quarry has been sighted. The hunt for the unicorn begins!

Symbolism in the Tapestry

Cherry (Prunus avium / Prunus cerasus) was considered a tree of Paradise as well as a tree of everlasting life. The fruit was used to make a healing tonic, and used to treat lung problems as well as to expel kidney and bladder stones.

Daffodil (Narcissus) was sacred to Proserpine (Persephone to the Greeks) who was the queen of the underworld. Daffodil was thought to keep away evil and staunch bleeding. It was used to clean and heal wounds and burns, clear the complexion, and ease joint pain.

Dogs Medieval people relied a lot on their dogs. Used for hunting, protection, guarding their flocks, they also symbolized fidelity.

English bluebell (Scilla nonscripta) was suspended above a threshold to repel evil.

English daisy (Bellis perennis) was symbolic of the Virgin Mary and the blessed souls residing in Heaven. Its leaves and petals were eaten and it was used to treat fevers and gout, as well as head and intestinal complaints.

English walnut (Juglans regia) was a symbol of the Church and of fruitfulness. Parts of the walnut tree were used to treat bruises, ulcers, abscesses, boils, twisted sinews, headaches, skin and ear problems, and inflammation. As a durable wood, medieval artisans used it to craft chests and wagon wheels.

Periwinkle (Vinca major / Vinca minor) was believed to grow in Paradise. When ground and ingested as a powder, it supposedly created affection and unity between couples. Periwinkle was used against beasts, poison and snakes. It was also used to treat diarrhea, fever, and toothache.

Sweet violet (Viola odorata) was another plant of Paradise. Thought to ward against 'wicked spirits', it was also associated with the Virgin Mary and the saints. Eaten as well as used for garnish, violet was also used for insomnia, sore eyes, fevers, coughs, drunkenness, falling fits, and complaints of the intestine, liver, and stomach.

Wallflower (Cheiranthus cheiri) was used to lesson difficult childbirth during labor. Also used for gout and complaints of the spleen, a woman would drink the distilled flowers for 3-4 weeks to make herself more fruitful.

Wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca) was used to treat stomach pain as well as the spleen. Mixed with the dung of a white dog it was used as a gargle to ease throat ulcers. It was also used to treat bleeding, headaches, broken bones, bad breath, wounds, and tiredness. There was an erotic connotation to the fruit and it was considered 'food for the blessed'.

The Unicorn Is Found

The Unicorn Is Found

The hunters have tracked their prey to a fountain. In the midst of other beasts and creatures, the unicorn is using his horn to purify a poisoned stream. Around the unicorn are lions, the hunting dogs, a panther and hyena, a weasel, and a stag. A quail and other birds drink from the purified water. All are in awe of the powers of the unicorn.

In religious allegory, the unicorn is Christ saving us from the poison of Satan. The presence of 12 hunters reads as the 12 Apostles of Christ and the rosebush directly behind the unicorn symbolizes martyrdom.

Symbolism In the Tapestry

Beech (Fagus sylvatica) symbolized a Christian's abstinence, discipline, and Christ. It was used to treat gum disease and kidney and bladder stones, as well as used for firewood.

Cabbage rose (Rosa centifolia) had a variety of meanings and uses in medieval times. The red blossoms were symbolic of Christ and martyrdom, as well as the Virgin Mary's charity. The white blossoms were symbolic of the Virgin Mary's purity. In secular terms, the rose was representative of betrothal and marriage. Rose petals were used in sweets and to make rose water for hand washing and ointments. Roses were also used to treat headaches, profuse sweating, heart pains, eye ailments, heatstroke, and stomach, intestinal, and mouth ailments.

Chinese lantern plant (Physalis, Alkekengi) was considered a 'healthful herb' and improved harmony and friendship. The fruit was used for medicine to treat asthma, jaundice, ulcers, and kidney and bladder stones.

Dogs Medieval people relied a lot on their dogs. Used for hunting, protection, guarding their flocks, they also symbolized fidelity.

Hyena Hyenas were believed to live among tombs, imitate the human voice, and devour the dead. It was thought to be able to change its sex and have a gem in its eye that would give the gift of prophecy if placed under the tongue. Its dung supposedly healed infection and its spleen was thought to restore vision.

Lion Medieval people believed two kinds of lions existed: short, peaceful ones with curly manes and fierce, tall plain ones. Lions were compassionate and thought to live in the mountains, sleeping with their eyes open. While brave, the lion feared fire, humans, the creaking sound of wheels and the white rooster. Another medieval belief was that the lioness gave birth to lifeless offspring; three days later, the lion roared or breathed upon the cubs and they revived.

Marigold (Calendula officinalis) was thought to help one's eyesight. It was also used to treat the plague, ulcers, intestinal troubles, wounds, scabs, and toothaches. Women sometimes wove garlands of marigolds to wear at marriage ceremonies. If a man gathered marigolds in August and wore them while praying, his sins would disappear.

Medlar (Mespilus germanica) was used to repel poisons and treat tumors, wounds, and stomach complaints.

Orange (Citrus sinensis) was another tree of Paradise and symbolic of chastity, fertility, and the Virgin Mary. Pregnant women ate oranges to prevent nausea.

Pansy (Viola tricolor) was a powerful love charm in addition to being used to treat skin problems.

Panther A panther was the only enemy of a dragon and could change colors.

Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis) symbolized Salvation and protected from wickedness and poison. Varieties of pimpernel were used to treat sprains, eye, ear, and tooth problems, gout, liver and kidney ailments, and falling sickness.

Rabbits Because rabbits have multiple liters a year, they were symbolic of hope for many children.

Stag Stags were believed to be protectors against snakes. Medieval people believed the stag would suck a snake up through their nostrils, then ate them to counteract poison. It was also said the stag would then be able to shed their coat and old age after such a meal. Stags were thought to like pipe music. Although burning stag horn supposedly kept snakes away, the right-hand horn was considered the best for healing. Because stags were thought never to get feverish, ointments made from their marrow were applied to people to combat fevers. It was also reported that people who ate venison all their lives had a chance to be immortal, unless they were killed by a single wound.

Unicorn Although mythological, the unicorn was believed to be real in medieval times. A unicorn's horn was in the middle of its forehead and believed to have powers of purification. It could only be trapped by a virgin girl, who was led to where a unicorn lurked, and sent off on her own. As soon as a unicorn saw her, he would leap into her lap and would then be 'caught'. A unicorn was often seen to symbolize Jesus Christ.

Weasel A weasel was thought to be courageous and the enemy of a basilisk. A female weasel knew of a herb that could bring her offspring back to life and was constantly moving her babies, carrying them in her mouth, to protect them.

Sage (Salvia officinalis) also symbolized Salvation. Sage was used in water for washing hands as well as flavoring wine. It was used to treat itching, bleeding, palsy, wounds, and nerve, digestion, and genital complaints.

The Unicorn Leaps Out of the Stream

The Unicorn Leaps Out of the Stream

As the hunting party surrounds, the unicorn leaps in and out of the stream. Prey often run along in the waters of a river so that its scent would be lost in the water.

The greyhounds and sight hounds are unleashed and the men draw their spears. But the unicorn is nimble and clever, evading the hunters. The heat of the hunt is intense.

In religious allegory, the cruel and ugly faces of the hunting party represent the persecutors of Christ.

Symbolism In the Tapestry

Clary (Salvia sclarea) was added to food and ale as well as used to cleanse the stomach, womb and treat eye ailments.

Field daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) was used to treat inflammation, boils, gout, sores, fevers, sexual desire, and intestinal complaints. It was associated with Saint John and Saint Mary Magdalen.

Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha) was symbolic of the crown of thorns Christ wore during his Crucifixtion. The fruit was used to stop bleeding and its juice was used to break up kidney and bladder stones.

Hazelnut (Corylus avellana) stood for union, regeneration, and immortality. It was used to treat pain of all types, as well as coughs, venomous bites, and as an aphrodisiac for men.

Holly (Ilex aquifolium) was worshiped by the Druids. It was symbolic of Christ's thorn or the suffering of Christ and protected from evil. It was commonly used as a decoration for Christmas and linked with the Nativity.

Plantain (Plantago cornuti) was used to counteract potions, for childbirth, and against the bite of a serpent or a spider, as well as the scorpion's sting.

Pomegranate (Punica granatum) held several meanings. The seeds were viewed as a symbol of the chastity of the Virgin Mary as well as the medieval Church, the unity of faith, and concord of peace. It was also a symbol of plenitude and fertility. The red juice symbolized the blood of Jesus Christ. It was used to treat heart tremor, stiffness, wounds, and spasms, as well as for fertility, eye and stomach ailments.

Primrose (Primula) was also called 'Saint' Peter's keys' and associated with the Virgin Mary. Its leaves were eaten, and primrose was also used to treat gout, paralysis, palsy, and epilepsy. Water of distilled primrose was used for headaches and pregnant women, and to clear pimples and spots on the face.

Yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus) treated coughs, poisonings, jaundice, convulsions, venomous bites, and skin, lung, spleen, and womb complaints. The root was thought to be good for pregnant women and eyes.

The Unicorn at Bay

The Unicorn at Bay

The noblemen hunters have cornered the unicorn. They move in for the kill but the unicorn fights back. Goring a hound with his horn, the unicorn kicks at a huntsman with his hooves. The party regroups, realizing that a unicorn may not be taken by ordinary means.

In religious allegory, a man with a horn is believed to symbolize the archangel Gabriel.

Symbolism In the Tapestry

Cattail (Typha latifolia) was a symbol of Salvation.

English oak (Quercus robur) was an important symbol of fidelity in love and marriage, and its leaves symbolized steadfastness. It also symbolized Salvation and the Virgin Mary. The oak was worshiped by the Druids. It was used to treat wounds, bleeding, poisons, boils, and intestinal problems.

Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium) was used for broken bones, vertigo, female fertility, and bites.

Forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides) were symbolic of faithfulness and fidelity.

Peach (Prunus persica) was very rarely seen in medieval tapestries and paintings. It was used to treat fevers, stomach and ear complaints, and ulcers as well as increase fertility.

Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) was used to treat poisonings, the plague and illness of the womb.

The Lost Unicorn Tapestry

The Lost Unicorn Tapestry

The imagery of this tapestry, as a whole, has been left to interpretation. What remains of the image is a woman, the unicorn, and a man watching from the edge of the forest.

In legend, only a virgin could touch a unicorn. Scholars agree that the tapestry probably depicts the unicorn coming to rest on the lap of the maiden. Since the hunting party could not take the unicorn by force, they turned to the gentle touch and love of a maiden to subdue the beast.

In the background, the men watch and wait for the time to strike. The unicorn is vulnerable now that he has surrendered to the maiden.

In religious allegory Christ surrendered his divine nature and became human through his birth to the Virgin Mary. In non-religious meanings, the bridegroom has surrendered to a fair and loving maiden.

Symbolism In the Tapestry

Apple (Malus pumila) was considered the be the "tree of knowledge" that God had planted in the Garden of Eden. Its fruit symbolized earthly love, the saints, and divine wisdom. An apple tree's shade was interpreted as the Holy Spirit that overshadowed Mary at the Annunciation.

Holly (Ilex aquifolium) was worshiped by the Druids. It was symbolic of Christ's thorn or the suffering of Christ and protected from evil. It was commonly used as a decoration for Christmas and linked with the Nativity.

The Unicorn Is Killed and Brought to the Castle

The Unicorn Is Killed and Brought to the Castle

Having been caught, the unicorn is slain. His body is taken on the back of a horse to the castle and presented to the lord and his lady. They will benefit from possession of the magic horn of the unicorn.

In religious allegory, this scene represents the death of Jesus Christ.

Symbolism In the Tapestry

Blackberry (Rubus fruticosis) symbolized love, Mary's virginity, St Benedict and sin. It was also used to treat diarrhea, kidney stones, sores, bleeding, ulcers, and venomous bites.

Iris (Iris germanica) was used to treat many types of complaints, including, abscesses, headaches, spasms, sciatica, ulcers, and pasly. Purple Iris was associated with Christ, the Virgin Mary, kings and noblemen. It could also help chest, lung, skin, and stomach problems.

The Unicorn in Captivity

The Unicorn in Captivity

The Unicorn in Captivity, although considered the final tapestry of the seven, may also be viewed as a stand-alone image. Part of this may be from the fact that the sixth tapestry shows the unicorn being killed and the seventh shows him alive and well.

The imagery of this tapestry shows the unicorn in a pen, tethered to a tree. But he is not entirely constrained and could easily escape. Although he wears a collar, it is loosened. He appears happy and content in his confinement under a pomegranate tree. Although there are drops of blood on his coat there is no wound.

In religious allegory this image of the unicorn represents Jesus Christ miraculously risen from the dead. Christ is linked to humanity eternally via the chain and pen. The pomegranate tree growing above is representative of the holy Church. From a non-religious viewpoint, the unicorn may symbolize the union of a bridegroom to his bride.

Symbolism In the Tapestry

Bistort (Polygonum bistorta) was thought to help a woman conceive. The plant was also used to heal wounds, stop vomiting, and as a diuretic.

Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) symbolized earthly and diving love, betrothal and marriage, and Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.

Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris ) was often associated with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. It also symbolized love, fertility, constancy, loyalty, and the Virgin Mary. It was used to treat jaundice, sore mouths and throats, and during childbirth. When carried on one's person, it supposedly stopped dogs from barking.

Cuckoo-pint (Arum maculatum) was thought to drive away melancholy and reptiles as well as attack poison. It was used to relieve swellings when made into a plaster as well as help complexions when in powdered-form. It was also used to treat chest complaints. cuckoo-pint mixed with fresh ox dung was used to treat gout.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) was one of the bitter herbs used by the Jews for Seder, and symbolized the Passion of Christ.

Madonna lily (Lilium candidum) was symbolic of the Virgin Mary's purity. It also stood for faithfulness in love and marriage. It was used to treat ulcers and burns and to relieve breathing and ear problems. Madonna lily was also used to combat serpent venom and to test the virginity of a maiden.

Saint Mary's thistle (Silybum marianum) was often identified with the Virgin Mary. It was thought that the root would help beget male children. It was used to treat serpent bites, ulcers, skin diesease, burns, bleeding, baldness, sciatica, and toothaches.

Stock-gilliflower (Mathiola incana) symbolized purity, love, and were thought to make a woman fruitful.

Wild orchid (Orchis mascula) was thought to be a powerful aphrodisiac. It was also believed that if a man ate the large part of the orchid's root he would beget male children. The lesser part would beget female children.

Read More about the Unicorn Tapestries

The Imagery of the Unicorn Tapestries

Allegory and Symbolism

The seven Unicorn Tapestries are thought to represent several themes. Symbolism in tapestries from medieval times was a common practice; people, plants, and animals held dual meanings for the viewer to interpret.

Some scholars view the seven tapestries to represent the Passion of Christ, in the form an an allegory; ("allegory" means: "a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another.") The unicorn is believed to represent Jesus Christ as he was persecuted, suffered under Pontius Pilate, crucified and died on the cross, descended into hell, and rose again three days later before ascending to Heaven.

Others view the symbolism as those of love and marriage, with tokens of fidelity, fertility and love mixed in. Many of the plants woven into the imagery were identified with these meanings. There is also the love between Christ and his mother, the Virgin Mary, as well as between Christ and the Church. Another might say the images represent a tale of courtly love, presenting the search and eventual capture of the lover-bridegroom by his adored lady.

Because of the differences in style of some of the tapestries, some believe that the 1st and 7th tapestries were symbolic of the Hunt of the Unicorn as a Lover. Tapestries 2-4 and 6 were more representative of the Passion of Christ Allegory. And the 5th Tapestry, the one that survives in fragments, was part of the Mystic Hunt of the Unicorn. Some believe there might have been more tapestries that were lost, depicting more of the hunting scenes.

Throughout all seven tapestries the initials A and E (the E was usually depicted reversed) are seen. Sometimes woven among the trees and landscape, sometimes on the collars of the hunting hounds, on the collar of the unicorn. Some believe these initials to stand of Adam and Eve. Others believe they might have been the initials of the couple these tapestries were woven for. No one knows for sure.

Some of the tapestries, particularly the 6th, show signs of being patched. Some believe this was because of symbols of aristocracy contained in the blue skies of the tapestries that were cut out in order for the entire tapestries to escape destruction during the French Revolution.


Unicorns and Supercomputers

Preserving the tapestries digitally

In 1998, while construction was taking place at the Cloisters, the Unicorn Tapestries were removed and taken to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for cleaning and repair by the museum's textile department.

One by one, the tapestries (which are 12 feet tall and up to 14 feet wide) were laid out face down on a large table in the "wet lab". The original backings used to protect and support the tapestries were brittle and needing to be replaced. Such a delicate operation was done with use of tweezers and magnifying lenses, to remove the threads that held the backings in place.

Once removed, the conservators realized that backs of the tapestries held a mirror image of the front that had been preserved and protected for over 500 years. They were incredibly bright, rich, and deep, more subtle and natural-looking than the fronts, due to being unfaded.

A decision was made to photograph both sides of the tapestries, to record digitally both for preservation. This was done by a small team who rigged a giant metal scaffolding with a mounted a Leica digital camera on it. The tapestries were forbidden from being touched, so they were laid out on a sheet of plastic and the camera, on its scaffolding, was moved over it.

Because the camera had a narrow field of vision, only 3x3 foot sections were taken, overlapping the images so they could be reassembled in a computer to make a seamless mosaic of the tapestries.

Unfortunately, no one took into account that as the tapestries were laid out after their purified water baths, they would begin to dry. Drying textiles change shape, as their threads twist and loop in the air. The digital files of the images were so large it proved impossible to reassemble the images. Minute changes in the shape and placement of the threads rendered a seamless assembly nearly impossible.

Enter Gregory and David Chudnovsky, number theorists and mathematicians. The brothers work in IMAS, the Institute for Mathematics and Advanced Supercomputing at Polytechnic University, in Brooklyn. The brothers were given the image files in 2003 and discovered that, although not as easy as they first suspected, they could join the image tiles together by calculating the pixels crunched their billions of calculations via their supercomputer. But the image they produced in the end is flawless.



Learning from history

Since January 2002, the Tapestry Studio at West Dean College has been working on a recreation of The Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries. Once completed, the tapestries will be displayed in the Queen's Presence Chamber at Stirling Castle, all part of a project to furnish the castle as it would have been in the 16th century.

Historians studying the reign of James IV believe that a similar series of 'Unicorn' tapestries were part of the royal collection.

The team at West Dean Tapestry visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York to inspect the originals and researched into medieval techniques, the color palette and materials. The completed six tapestries now hang in the Queens Inner Hall, at the Royal Apartments at Stirling Castle.

The seventh tapestry, Mystic Hunt of the Unicorn, was completed in June 2014. Based on the fragments housed at the Cloisters, the image was re-designed by Katharine Swailes.

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© 2009 missbat

Thank you for visiting!

Cool Tapestries on July 12, 2016:

Amazing unicorn tapestries!!

emmajowebster on September 14, 2011:

I am one of the weavers who worked on 'the unicorn in captivity' I wove as part of the team of weavers at Stirling Castle! I have just written a lens about my work as a tapestry weaver!

Great lens - fascinating....

Sensitive Fern on August 15, 2011:

I just finished reading a novel - Angelology - that featured these tapestries. It's cool to run into them serendipitously like this.

NYThroughTheLens on April 24, 2011:

Awesome lens!

Jennifer P Tanabe from Red Hook, NY on February 08, 2011:

Came back to give an angel blessing to this wonderful lens!

TeacherSerenia on January 01, 2011:

An excellent lens on these wonderful tapestries, thank you. I also enjoyed the youtube video visit to the cloisters.

Lisa Auch from Scotland on November 05, 2010:

I love tapestries, the detailing and colours together, wasn't it amazing how eventually they put together the photos! a lovely lens, and so thoroughly explained. Beautiful

missbat (author) on September 29, 2010:

@Aquavel: Sure, go right ahead! Thanks so much for your visit and for offering to link back my lens! :D

Aquavel on September 29, 2010:

Thank you for making this indepth lens about these incredible medieval tapestries. I feature two of the images in my VIntagePets store and I would like to add your Squidoo lens links to them so that people can find out more about them. Would you mind if I quote a line or two from this lens and then put in your links so they can get more info? Great lens!

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on September 25, 2010:

I have always loved the unicorn tapestries. My husband gave me the Lady and the Unicorn plate collection years ago and they are still displayed in our home.

anonymous on September 14, 2010:

This an interesting and beautifully presented lens. So many places I would love to see, but I've never had the money to travel. Maybe someday I'll strike it rich.

Jeanette from Australia on September 13, 2010:

Thanks for this very interesting read. I found the section about photographing the tapestries quite amazing.

julieannbrady on September 11, 2010:

Wow, this is an incredible story -- I love unicorns and didn't know anything about THAT tapestry!

Rachel Field on April 04, 2010:

Wonderful lens, it's lovely finding out more about these tapestries.

Demaw on April 02, 2010:

I had the pleasure of seeing them up close and enjoyed reading about their history on your lens. I do plan to go back to the Cloisters and will see them with new eyes. 5*

Jennifer P Tanabe from Red Hook, NY on October 03, 2009:

Great lens! Love all the detail about the tapestries. Now I just have to read all 7 of the lenses on each separate tapestry. 5*s and lensrolling to my Unicorns and Unicorn Mythology lens.

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on September 18, 2009:

It is amazing that the Unicorn Tapestries survived the lost years without damage even though they were used to protect potatoes. This is all so very interesting.

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on August 25, 2009:

Very nice work!

anonymous on August 24, 2009:

This really is a lovely set of lenses and I love all the info that you have given us in this one. SquidAngel Blessings for you.

Michey LM on August 23, 2009:

Hi! Excellent, The Unicorn Tapestries are among the European treasures. Saw them in Poland, France, Austria Fav, 5*

Thanks for a special lens


Dianne Loomos on August 20, 2009:

I've seen some of these but did not know that there were more. A nice little niche here!

Robin S from USA on August 19, 2009:

Wow, this is awesome. The topic is so interesting and unique. I had never heard about these before.

Bambi Watson on August 18, 2009:

Beautiful lens!

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