Unicorns are a topic close to our hearts, and news this week surfaced of an exhibition in New York featuring 16th century tapestry, “The Hunt of the Unicorn”. From the article in The Economist:
The most moving work on view is “The Unicorn in Captivity”, a tapestry from the Rockefeller series. A unicorn rests inside a wooden enclosure. Thousands of flowers cover the ground. A gold chain links his collar to the trunk of a pomegranate tree (a symbol of fertility). Red juice drips onto the unicorn’s pure white coat. The wild creature has surrendered himself to love. This is a sensual and tender image. The remaining tapestries, in a room nearby, tell a different story—about aggression, betrayal and death.
Though our Unicorn is the last left alive, people will recognise the ancestral behavioural themes: love, aggression, and resting. Not so much on the pomegranates latterly, but a link’s a link.
Another article in The Times reminds us, for those who maybe can’t make it over to New York, that replica tapestries created by weavers for West Dean are to be found in Stirling Castle.
Further interesting Unicorn information can be found on the BBC’s Listen Again website from the “In Our Time” programme with Melvyn Bragg.