Whether it’s about paintings with Gustave Moreau, or literature with René Barjavel (Les Dames à la Licorne – The Ladies with the Unicorn) and J.K. Rowling, the unicorn often generated interest because of its mysterious aspect. An inspiration for the arts the Musée de Cluny promotes with Magical Unicorns, an exhibition running from July 14, 2018 to February 25, 2019.
As a starting point, the famous tapestries owned by the museum, The Lady and the Unicorn, back in France after going to Australia, during the museum’s work. Weaved circa 1500, these tapestries show the importance of the mythic animal in the Middle-Age. Considered as a magic creature, the unicorn symbolizes chastity and innocence. It owns a horn with anti-poison properties and purifies liquids.
The exhibition tends to highlight "the diversity of contexts in which it is depicted in the late Middle-Age at the time when 'The Hunt of the Unicorn' [...] and The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries are weaved", as well as its posterity in art and literature. An animal depicted with various looks by artists dreaming of "varied meanings".
Hangings, costumes, paintings… As many materials to tell the representation of the unicorn through history, from the Middle Age to nowadays, and its influence on art. The exhibition ends on a last tribute to the hangings from the 14th century with five tapestries by Claude Rutault. And we’ve come full circle.
(Credits: © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen-Âge) / M. Urtado)
From 14 July 2018 to 25 February 2019
Musée du Moyen-Age - Musée de Cluny
6 Place Paul Painlevé
75005 Paris 5
Tarif réduit: 4 €
Plein tarif: 5 €
Ouvert tous les jours, sauf le mardi, de 9h15 à 17h45