Hunt for the Unicorn: Tapestry One. Beginning the Hunt

First Tapestry: Beginning the Hunt

Hunt for the Unicorn: Tapestry One. Beginning the Hunt

“The Hunt of the Unicorn” is a series of tapestries dating back to the late Middle Ages or early Renaissance period, likely created in the Southern Netherlands (modern-day Belgium). These tapestries are renowned for their intricate detail, vibrant colors, and enigmatic symbolism.

The first tapestry in the “Hunt for the Unicorn” series depicts the start of the hunt. Set in a lush forest landscape, it portrays a group of hunters, accompanied by a pack of hounds and falconers, preparing to embark on the quest for the mythical unicorn.

In this initial scene, the participants gather their hunting gear, including bows, arrows, and hunting horns, while falconers release their birds of prey. The atmosphere is charged with anticipation and excitement as the hunt is about to commence. In the upper right-hand corner a scout leans out of the bushes and beckons to the group. It appears that he has spotted a unicorn. The hunt commences.

The first tapestry shows a rich millefleur background that gives an almost otherworldly feel to the landscape. I believe the brownish area at the bottom is where a section of the tapestry had to be repaired and rewoven.

The seven “Hunt for the Unicorn” tapestries all hang in The Cloisters, which is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

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