The Lady and the Unicorn
Art Gallery Road The Domain, Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia
10th February 2018 to 24th June 2018
A rare opportunity to experience the beauty, scale and intricacy of a masterpiece of medieval French art that has captivated viewers across the centuries. Revered as a national treasure in France, and known as the 15th-century ‘Mona Lisa of the Middle Ages’ The lady and the unicorn tapestry cycle will be making its exclusive appearance in Australia at the Art Gallery of NSW through a generous and exceptional loan from the collection of the Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge in Paris. The six large tapestries each depict a richly costumed lady flanked by that most mysterious animal, the unicorn, with jewel-like millefleur (‘thousand flowers’) backgrounds. The tapestries present a vivid meditation on earthly pleasures and courtly love. They can also be viewed as an allegory of the five senses – sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell – plus a sixth ‘internal’ sense – heart, desire or will – which was widely known at the time. This exhibition is made possible with the support of the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.