Example 123: Tapestry, part of series

Work Record
Class [controlled]: • decorative arts • textiles • European art
*Work Type [link]: • tapestry (wall hanging)
*Title: Unicorn in Captivity
*Creator Display: unknown South Netherlandish
*Role [link]: designer [link]: unknown
*Creation Date: 1495-1505 [controlled]: • Earliest: 1495 • Latest: 1505
*Subject [links]: • object (utilitarian) • allegory • unicorn (mythological animal) • human figure • female • Unicorn in Captivity (Christian iconography) • Passion of Christ (Christian iconography) • pomegranate tree • virginity • marriage • fertility
Culture [link]: • Flemish
*Current Location [link]: Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, New York, United States) • ID: 37.80.6
Creation Location [link]: Brussels (Flanders, modern Belgium)
*Measurements: 368 x 251.5 cm (12 feet 1 inch x 8 feet 3 inches)
[controlled]: • Value: 368 Unit: cm Type: height | Value: 251.5 Unit: cm Type: width
*Materials and Techniques: wool warp, wool, silk, silver, and gilt wefts
Material [links]: • wool • silk • gold thread • silver thread Technique [links]: • weaving
Inscriptions: monograms: FR; AE
Description: From the Unicorn Hunt series; the story merges pagan and Christian iconography; Unicorn was captured after resting his head in a virgin’s lap, as Christ sacrificed his divinity to become human through a virgin; this scene represents the Resurrected Christ; other symbolism, including the fecund flora, suggests this tapestry celebrated a marriage. The unicorn also represents the beloved tamed. He is tethered to a tree and constrained by a fence, but the chain is not secure and the fence is low enough to leap over: The unicorn could escape if he wished. Clearly, however, his confinement is a happy one, to which the ripe, seed-laden pomegranates in the tree—a medieval symbol of fertility and marriage—testify.
Description Source [link]: Metropolitan Museum of Art online. www.metmuseum.org (accessed 02 July 2007)

Related Works:

Relationship Type:
part of
[link to Work Record]: series: Unicorn Tapestries; South Netherlandish; 1495/1505; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, New York, USA)


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