Presentation of the ‘Cluny’ Tapestry

Presentation of the ‘Cluny’ Tapestry

Professor John Patrick and his wife Tricia commissioned Mary and Andrew Thomson to recreate one of the Cluny Tapestry panels. This fabulous masterpiece was unveiled in the Bradbury Room at Drapers Place, a beautiful addition to the room.

The sense depicted is ‘Smell.’ In the 'Smell' tapestry, the lady stands, making a wreath of flowers. Her maidservant holds a basket of flowers within her easy reach. Again, the lion and unicorn frame the lady while holding on to the pennants. The monkey has stolen a flower which he is smelling, providing the key to the allegory.

The Lady and the Unicorn (FrenchLa Dame à la licorne) is the modern title given to a series of six tapestries created in the style of mille-fleurs ("thousand flowers") and woven in Flanders from wool and silk, from designs ("cartoons") drawn in Paris around 1500. The set, on display in the Musée de Cluny in Paris, is often considered one of the greatest works of art of the Middle Ages in Europe.

Five of the tapestries are commonly interpreted as depicting the five senses – taste, hearing, sight, smell, and touch. The sixth displays the words "À mon seul désir". The tapestry's intended meaning is obscure, but has been interpreted as representing love or understanding. Each of the six tapestries depicts a noble lady with the unicorn on her left and a lion on her right; some include a monkey in the scene.

From left to right -
Tricia Patrick, Andrew Thomson, Mary Thomson and Professor John Patrick

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