Inside and Outside the Garden Walls » Unicorn in Captivity

« Back to Inside and Outside the Garden Walls

Unicorn in Captivity

The Unicorn in Captivity, 1495–1505
South Netherlandish
Wool warp with wool, silk, silver, and gilt wefts; Overall: 12 ft. 7/8 in. x 99 in. (368 x 251.5 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr., 1937 (37.80.6)
See Collections to learn more about this work of art.

Many of the flowering plants in this tapestry have been botanically identified. A number of those depicted closest to the unicorn’s body, including bluebells (Endymion non-scripta), bistort (Polygonum bistorta), and purple orchis (Orchis mascula), are spring-blooming plants strongly associated with sexuality and fertility in the Middle Ages.

« Back to Inside and Outside the Garden Walls