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#AtoZChallenge Letter L

The theme of my challenge is poetry and books inspired by art and/or art inspired by literature.

Lis for the Lady and the Unicorn


There are 6 tapestries exhibited in Paris called La Dame à la licorne, all of which show a noble lady with a lion and a unicorn.  In some there is also a monkey.  Five of them represent the five senses and the sixth, A mon seul désir, shown above, which may represent love or understanding.  The tapestries were woven, from wool and silk, in Flanders, from drawings made in Paris circa 1500.  They bear the arms of Jean Le Viste, a powerful nobleman in the court of King Charles VII.  The background to each tapestry is the mille-fleurs design.


In her book published in 2003, Tracy Chevalier gives a possible account of how the tapestries might have been woven and who the model for the virginal lady could be. Weaving her story into the warp and weft of the masterpiece she has created a compelling story.  On her website you can read more interesting facts about The Lady and the Unicorn.

You can find a list of all the other A to Z Challengers here.



About lizannelloyd

Love history, reading, researching and writing. Articles published in My Family History and other genealogy magazines.

6 responses »

  1. Tapestries are fascinating and this one looks especially interesting.

    Alex’s Ninja Minion

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really interesting – I’m off the read the rest of the story at Tracy’s site! That tapestry is so intricate – it makes me wonder how they achieved it so long ago. Leanne @ cresting the hill

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read this a good few years ago and found it very atmospheric

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s a gorgeous tapestry. I’ve not read that book yet but am quite interested now!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t know this story or its connection to the artwork. It sounds very interesting.

    Susan Says



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