Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 9318
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Gourlay , Kristina E.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: La Dame à la Licorne: A Reinterpretation [argues that the tapestry series does not represent an allegory of the five senses but rather a romance between the maiden and the unicorn in order to celebrate or commemorate a marriage in the Le Viste family].
  • Source: Gazette des Beaux-Arts 130, 1544 (septembre 1997): Pages 47 - 72.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Art History- Decorative Arts Dame a la Licorne, Tapestry Series Iconography Love in Art Tapestries Unicorns Women in Art
  • Geographic Area: France
  • Century: 15- 16
  • Related Resources:

  • Primary Evidence: Tapestry; Paris, Musée du Moyen Âge Thermes de Cluny, La dame à la Licorne tapestries. Six tapestries woven in wool and silk, varying in width (2.90 to 4.73 meters) and height (3.12 to 3.77 meters). It is generally believed that the tapestries were designed in Pari
  • Illustrations: Twenty-two figures. Illustrations of each of the six tapestries. There is also a full-color reproduction of "Taste" on the cover of the issue. Figure 7 Capture and wounding of a unicorn, Ashmole Bestiary, Ashmole 1511, fol. 14v. Figure 8 Marriage chest with a unicorn and lion observing a young couple, fifteenth century (Brittany, Church of St. Ave). Figure 9 Carved ivory casket showing the capture and wounding of a unicorn, Paris, 1330-1350 (Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery). Figure 10 "Garden of Love," Burgundian (?) engraving, fifteenth century (Kupferstichkabinett Staatliche Museen zu Berlin-Preussischer Kulturbesitz). Figure 11 "La Dame a l' orgue," tapestry, sixteenth century (Angers, chateau). Figure 12 "L' Offrande de coeur," tapestry, early fifteenth century (Paris, Louvre). Figure 13 "The Deer Hunt," Devonshire Hunting Tapestry, circa 1450 (London, Victoria and Albert Museum). Figure 14 Manuscript illustration of a loving couple with the man holding a falcon, Codex Manesse, early fourteenth century (Heidelberg, Universitätsbibliothek, Cod. Pal. Germ. 848, fol. 249v). Figure 15 Carved ivory mirror case showing a courtly lover with a falcon, early fourteenth century (London, Victoria and Albert Museum). Figure 16 Marginal manuscript illustration showing love as a hunt. The young man holds a falcon and a ring, while the young woman holds a rabbit with one hand and reaches out toward the ring with her other hand. Ormesby Psalter, early fourteenth century (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Douce 366, fol, 131). Figure 17 "Annunciation" tapestry, Lower Rheinland, around 1500 (Munich, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum). Figure 18 Manuscript illustration of the capture and wounding of a unicorn. Note that in this case the entrapping maiden is naked. English Bestiary, midthirteenth century (London, British Library, Royal 12F XIII, fol. 10v). Figure 19 Manuscript illumination of a maiden with a unicorn on her lap. Maître François, Wharncliffe Hours, French, circa 1475-80 (Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria, folio 7). Figure 20 Scene showing Samson resting in Delilah's lap, also on fol. 7 of the Wharncliffe Hours. Figure 21 Engraving of a young woman about to slip a chain around a unicorn's neck. Florentine, circa 1465-80 (London, British Museum). Figure 22 "Couple sous un dais" tapestry, circa 1460-65 (Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Danvillier Collection).
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  • Abstract:
  • Author's Affiliation: University of Toronto
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1997.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00165530
  • Material/Technique :
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