The Hunt of the Unicorn
, often referred to as the Unicorn Tapestries, is a series of seven tapestries dating from 1495–1505. Believed to be made in the southern Netherlands, the tapestries are currently on display at The Cloisters in New York.
The series show a group of noblemen and hunters in pursuit of a unicorn, which may be an allegory for the Passion of Christ or a celebration of marriage. This piece, entitled The Unicorn Defends Itself
, shows the unicorn piercing a hunting dog with its horn while the hunters ready to strike with their lances.
in the series are depicted with extraordinary variety, from doublets to jackets, and all manner of sleeve treatments, serving as an encyclopedia of the diversity of flamboyant court dress worn in the Middle Ages.
The original tapestry has faded substantially over the centuries. We have extensively restored the image to what the original artists intended.