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The Hunters Enter the Woods (from the Unicorn Tapestries) RE935533

The Hunters Enter the Woods (from the Unicorn Tapestries) RE935533

Regular price $125.00 USD
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"The Hunters Enter the Woods," part of the renowned Unicorn Tapestries, is a captivating masterpiece crafted between 1495–1505, blending French design with South Netherlandish weaving techniques. Currently on display at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 17, this tapestry is one of seven in the series depicting the legendary hunt of the unicorn—a mythical creature steeped in medieval lore and symbolism.

The unicorn, first mentioned by the Greek physician Ctesias in the fourth century B.C., was renowned for its supposed invincibility and the healing properties of its horn. This belief in the horn's miraculous powers led to the association of narwhal tusks with unicorn horns during the Middle Ages.

Designed in Paris but woven in Brussels, the Unicorn Tapestries first appeared in historical records in 1680, adorning the Parisian residence of François VI de La Rochefoucauld. Later, five of the tapestries graced the walls of a château in Verteuil, France, until they were looted during the French Revolution. Recovered in the 1850s, they were restored and rehung in the château's salon.

"The Hunters Enter the Woods" transports viewers to a lush forest teeming with life, as hunters venture forth in search of the mythical unicorn. Against a backdrop of millefleurs—a field of dark green adorned with blossoming trees and flowers—the scene is rich in symbolism and detail.

Notably, the tapestry features over 101 species of plants, with 85 identified, including a prominent cherry tree and a lush date palm. Intriguingly, the cipher "AE" woven into each tapestry alludes to their original owners, whose identity remains shrouded in mystery.

As viewers behold "The Hunters Enter the Woods," they are immersed in a world of myth and legend, where the boundaries between reality and fantasy blur. Through its exquisite craftsmanship and rich symbolism, this tapestry invites contemplation of the enduring allure of the unicorn and the timeless beauty of medieval artistry.

The Hunters Enter the Woods (from the Unicorn Tapestries) RE935533

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