It’s a masterpiece that lands in Toulouse ! The “Lady with the unicorn”, a series of 6 medieval tapestries, dating from early 16th century, is visible at Slaughterhouse Museum, until January 16. The tapestries are ready by the National Museum of the Middle Ages in Cluny, which is currently under renovation.
The tapestries represent the 5 senses, and a “mystery” sense
Each tapestry, made of wool and silk, made about twenty m2 and each time highlights a lady (the “Lady with the unicorn”), surrounded by vegetation, a unicorn (always) and other animals, such as a dog, a monkey, birds, rabbits, or even a Lion.
The first 5 tapestries each represent a meaning (hearing, smell, taste, touch, sight), while the sixth, entitled “My only desire”, remains a mystery, open to everyone’s interpretation.
These tapestries are “a kind of icon for medieval times“, explains Séverine Lepape, director of the National Museum of the Middle Ages in Cluny, who adds:”For medieval times, there is the Mona Lisa, for the Middle Ages, there is the lady with the unicornAccording to her, it is a unique work that is exhibited:
The whole is absolutely incomparable. Nowhere else will you find an ensemble that is so well preserved, with a secular, enigmatic theme, which mixes woman and nature with an extraordinary degree of conservation.
“A work that transcends the ages”
“It is the alliance of beauty, technicality, but also mystery with My only desire“, continuation Annabelle Teneze, general manager of Abattoirs, who affirms that it is a work which”transcends eras, emblematic of the creation of the end of the Middle Ages but which at the same time has a strong meaning over all eras: it continues to be a source of inspiration for historians but also for contemporary artists“.
As such, the Abattoirs have chosen to exhibit the tapestries alongside contemporary works that echo it, like this tapestry by Suzanne Husky, which uses the codes of the original to adapt it to contemporary issues, by featuring a machine that cuts trees, and a man from behind who tries to prevent it.