The Unicorn Tapestries in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Overview

The unicorn tapestries are one of the most popular attractions at The Cloisters, the medieval branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Traditionally known as The Hunt of the Unicorn, this set of seven exquisite and enigmatic tapestries was likely completed between 1495 and 1505. The imaginatively conceived scenes—displaying individualized faces of the hunters and naturalistically depicting the flora and fauna of the landscape—are beautifully captured in silk, wool, and metal ...

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Overview

The unicorn tapestries are one of the most popular attractions at The Cloisters, the medieval branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Traditionally known as The Hunt of the Unicorn, this set of seven exquisite and enigmatic tapestries was likely completed between 1495 and 1505. The imaginatively conceived scenes—displaying individualized faces of the hunters and naturalistically depicting the flora and fauna of the landscape—are beautifully captured in silk, wool, and metal yarns.

Written by one of the world’s leading authorities on medieval textiles and illustrated with many lovely color reproductions, The Unicorn Tapestries traces the origins of the tapestries as well as possible interpretations of their symbolic meaning. This is an essential book for any lover of medieval art and textiles.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
An appreciation of medieval tapestries might seem to be the province of the refined few, but this elegantly illustrated and clearly written guide to the seven enigmatic unicorn tapestries will surely encourage the contemplation of these masterworks. Delicately hand-woven circa 1500 and now housed at The Cloisters in New York, they depict a series of hunting scenes. Cavallo, a specialist in tapestries, gives a brief history of the work and a clear technical explanation of the weaving process but devotes the bulk of the text to the extensive symbolism-of the unicorn, the floral background, the monograms, and the various human figures-and the various analyses that have been offered. Pitched to the educated lay reader, the book also includes a short list of references for those who wish to pursue alternate theories. Owing to the new interpretations and superb photography, this volume will supplant earlier Metropolitan publications as the definitive text on the unicorn tapestries, for both the general reader and academics initiating research. Recommended.-David McClelland, Philadelphia Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300106305
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Publication date: 1/11/2005
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 804,086
  • Product dimensions: 9.16 (w) x 12.04 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Adolfo Salvatore Cavallo is an independent scholar who formerly worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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