The Unicorn Tapestries in The Metropolitan Museum of Art


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Adolfo Salvatore Cavallo

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The unicorn tapestries are one of the most popular attractions at The Cloisters, the medieval branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Traditionally known as The Hunt of the Unicorn, this set of seven exquisite and enigmatic tapestries was likely completed between 1495 and 1505. The imaginatively conceived scenes—displaying individualized faces of the hunters and naturalistically depicting the flora and fauna of the landscape—are beautifully captured in silk, wool, and metal yarns.

Written by one of the world’s leading authorities on medieval textiles and illustrated with many lovely color reproductions, The Unicorn Tapestries traces the origins of the tapestries as well as possible interpretations of their symbolic meaning. This is an essential book for any lover of medieval art and textiles.

Published in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Adolfo Salvatore Cavallo is an independent scholar who formerly worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Owing to the new interpretations and superb photography, this volume will supplant earlier Metropolitan publications as the definitive text on the unicorn tapestries, for both the general reader and academics initiating research. Recommended.”—Library Journal

"This affordable paperback presents the story of the tapestries, with details of their creation, conservation, symbols and meaning, accompanied by many good quality color photos."—Art Book News Annual

ISBN: 9780300106305
Publication Date: April 11, 2005
Publishing Partner: Published in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art
128 pages, 9 x 12
14 b/w + 77 color illus.