The Unicorn is in Captivity and No Longer Dead (1495-1505)
Woven in South Netherlands by unknown artisans
The Unicorn is in Captivity and No Longer Dead is the final panel in a series of tapestries showing pagan and Christian symbolism. The pagan themes emphasize the medieval lore of beguiled lovers, whereas Christian writings interpret the unicorn and its death as the Passion of Christ. The unicorn has long been identified by Christian writers as a symbol of Christ, conscripting the traditionally pagan symbolism of the unicorn. The original pagan myths about The Hunt of the Unicorn refer to an animal with a single horn that can only be tamed by a virgin; Christian scholars translated this into an allegory for Christ's relationship with the Virgin Mary.
In the Gothic tapestry, the makers considered biblical events as historical, and linked the biblical and secular narratives in the tapestry weaving. Medieval art illustrated moral principles, and the tapestries used narrative allegories to illustrate these morals. The secular unicorn hunt was not simply Christian art, but also an allegorical representation of the Annunciation.
Acknowledging speculation that the tapestries were commissioned to celebrate a marriage, it is noted that medieval poets connected the taming of the unicorn to the devotion and subjugation of love. The taming of the unicorn symbolizes the secular lover or mate who was enchained by a virgin and entrapped in the fence (in the tapestry The Unicorn in Captivity). In addition, the author pointed out that the concept of an overlapping God of Heaven and God of love was accepted in the late Middle Ages.
11x17 Matte Poster
Printed with Dye/Pigment Reactive Ink On archival matte paper Shipped in heavy duty poster tube Heavy weight (230 gsm), thick base (9.5 mil), and an instant-dry coating that resists fingerprints and smudging.
- Printed with Dye/Pigment Reactive Ink
- On archival matte paper
- Shipped in heavy duty poster tube
- Heavy weight (230 gsm), thick base (9.5 mil), and an instant-dry coating that resists fingerprints and smudging.