'Taste' c1500, from 'The lady and the unicorn' series, wool and silk, 377 x 466 cm. Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris. Photo © RMN-GP / M Urtado.
The Lady and the Unicorn
The magnificent medieval art of “The lady and the unicorn” tapestry series is now on show at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. On loan from the Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris, “The lady and the unicorn” is often referred to as the ‘Mona Lisa of the Middle Ages’. Woven in wool and silk to a French design, the series comprises six entrancing works that together, due to their significant scale, span over 20 metres in length. Five of the tapestries depict the five senses, with a sixth representing the heart, or understanding. Within the tapestries a lady flanked by a lion and a unicorn is surrounded by a fantastical world of animals, trees and flowers.