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The Unicorn Surrenders to a Maiden (from the Unicorn Tapestries) RE729948

The Unicorn Surrenders to a Maiden (from the Unicorn Tapestries) RE729948

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"The Unicorn Surrenders to a Maiden," a fragment of a captivating tapestry from the Unicorn Tapestries, offers a glimpse into a scene of enchantment and mystery. Created between 1495–1505, this fragment is currently showcased at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 17, where its evocative imagery continues to intrigue viewers.

In this depiction, the unicorn appears to have been tamed, exhibiting a remarkable docility as it stands in the presence of a maiden. Oblivious to the dog licking the wound on its back, the unicorn gazes lovingly at the maiden who must have subdued it. Though much of the maiden's figure is missing due to damage incurred over time, remnants of her presence remain, including her right arm clothed in red velvet and her fingers gently caressing the bottom of the unicorn's mane.

The maiden is situated within an enclosed garden, known as a hortus conclusus, a metaphor for the purity and innocence of a maiden. This serene setting adds to the sense of tranquility and harmony pervading the scene. Additionally, the presence of the maiden may be signaling to the hunter outside the garden, who in turn sounds the horn to summon others, suggesting a larger narrative unfolding beyond the immediate tableau.

Through its delicate portrayal of the bond between the maiden and the unicorn, "The Unicorn Surrenders to a Maiden" invites viewers to contemplate themes of gentleness, purity, and the elusive nature of magic. It serves as a testament to the enduring fascination with the unicorn legend and the timeless allure of medieval storytelling.

The Unicorn Surrenders to a Maiden (from the Unicorn Tapestries) RE729948

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