Who has ordered the tapestries

The Hunt of the Unicorn ?


1. Who is the sponsor ?

The thesis of James Rorimer (Director of The Cloisters in 1949, then curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York) published in 1942 seems convincing to identify the couple which is hosting the dead unicorn in the sixth tapestry : Anne of Brittany and Louis XII.

But I don't follow him when he writes that the five central tapestries of The Hunting of the Unicorn were woven for Anne of Brittany on the occasion of her marriage to Louis XII January 8, 1499. Three days after the death of her husband, the principle of marriage with Louis XII was granted, provided that one year before Louis gets the annulment of his marriage with Jeanne, daughter of Louis XI. This marriage has been somewhat hasty : nine months separate the accidental death of Charles VIII at 27 April 7, 1498 and the second marriage of Anne. And we know that several years are required for drawing and weaving such a set of tapestries.

Must undoubtedly find another reason for this creation. I think that The Hunting of the Unicorn is a long-term project whose purpose was to celebrate the reigning royal family of Valois through the Millennium of the Baptism of Clovis, an important event in the Christian legends founding of the French monarchy .

In those years, the legendary Pharamond was considered the first king of France, presumed editor of the Salic law (women and girls were excluded permanently from royal power). But for all, the true founder of the monarchy was Clovis, the archetype of all the kings of France, who was called "holy" to the late Middle Ages, while acquiring some of the attributes of holiness : miracles and power of intercession .

Such a project requires years of preparation for the hanging will be ready on time.
The artist then conceives a series of tapestries which tells two "stories": the History of Humanity according to the Bible culminating in the passion of Christ and the History of France, culminating with the presence of complete royal family .

All members of the royal family of Valois had to be gathered in this ultimate tapestry for "photo memories". The artist arranges so brilliantly, for the appearance at the forefront sovereigns Louis XII and Anne of Brittany (and dolphin behind that brand as friendly to the dog), while allowing the family of Beaujeu a prominent place, visible from afar : Anne of France, Pierre de Bourbon, Charles de Montpensier even under the bright arch of "The golden Gate" and Suzanne at the extreme right, privileged place.

Considering the time required for weaving, it is possible that the last tapestry has undergone a few changes made obligatory by the sudden death of Charles VIII.

Is Louis XI (reigned 1461-1483) at the origin of this command should be completed by 1498 ? Perhaps this is Charles VIII, led by his sister Anne de France, which has realized an idea nurtured by their father.

Anne of France had to invest heavily in the project and may have had the idea after their creation, use the tapestry as teaching aids and mnemonics for the education of princes and princesses who were entrusted to her.

In its encyclopedic intention, the hanging evokes all the facts, divine, legendary and historical, which are then known as the Kingdom of France and a future king, a future queen should know to govern his/her country, or "world".

Different "stories" are almost always mentioned in chronological order and in the order of tapestries. These woven evocations sought knowledge and memorization of historical facts : learning to know how to organize the memory and, consequently, know how to think. Then brought the printed book to the different memory support , more personal and more accessible. In addition, following humanists like Erasmus, one chose to classify the ideas in deductive and rational order, rather than according to a fixed order in the imagination. "The art of memory", so long cultivated eventually disappear.

Let us review all, item by item ...


2. 2. The "royal" couple in the foreground

2.1. The letters A and 3


James Rorimer arguments are to be retained. The couple letters A-3 bound by a corded girdle allows first identification. It is distributed as follows :

— Five times (one in each corner and one center) in the tapestries 1, 2, 3 (+ the couple FR at the top center) and 4

— [in the tapestry 5 incomplete : a couple in the top left incomplete and the letter A in the center]

— in the tapestry 6 : a missing couple in the center and at the bottom right, the only letter A in the top left

in the tapestry 7 : two remarks :

— Missing a couple in the lower left

— the letter does not have the central line and became a C in reverse (the C of Charles? To celebrate the entry of Charles VIII to Naples in February 1495) ? Is it a oblivion during weaving ?

On the collars of some dogs, the letter A can appear only with coats of arms, the letters A-E upright and A-E in reverse

The drawings bordering the pages of Small Hours of Anne de Bretagne seem to confirm the "presence" of Anne of Brittany.

The artist plays, obviously, with the letters A and E: he arranges the letters in all of the decorations more beautiful than the other. With the " lacs d'amour " are mingle the dynastic emblems of Brittany : the ermine (John IV) and corded girdle (Francis Ist). The initials A and E of her name are closely linked with the second leg of the A.

But if we look good, it is an A, the first leg looks like her twin sister at the E. One very fine line links the two letters. If this so tenuous link disappears the A becomes an E backwards. As in the l "lacs d'amour " of The Hunt. That is, on many occasions ... and the two letters look at themselves like in a mirror.

Check it out on the following website of The Little Hours of Anne of Brittany :

Jean Poyer - Prayer Book of Anne de Bretagne
The Morgan Library & Museum - New York


2.2. The queen : Anne de Bretagne

Jean Bourdichon - Les Grandes Heures d'Anne de Bretagne
(avec les saintes Anne, Ursule et Marguerite)
Paris - Bnf - Ms lat. 9474 f° 3

Are they Anne of Brittany and Louis XII in 1942 as suggested by James J. RORIMER (Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of New York) on the occasion of their wedding on January 8, 1499 ? (Margaret Freeman denies that thesis in Chapter 6 of her book).


She seems too old and her face seems to "narrow" compared to the face of Anne de Bretagne to 22 years. The artist does "old" deliberately (as the child) to evoke a male offspring alive, able to ensure repeatedly on the throne ?

The squirrel also brings its small seed to the building of evidence : in the famous Mazarin tapestry (now in Joseph Widener collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington) Anne, sitting alongside Charles VIII, held in her bosom a squirrel and her girdle is present. Married with Charles in 1491, Anne was then fourteen years.


Tapestries 3 and 6 : we note the presence of two banners with (perhaps) a black cross.

Is it the black cross of the Bretons who "ultimately duplicate the message of the ermine", chosen single since 1364 ? The cross that John IV chosen because it does not want the white cross of Saint-Michel of France or the red cross of St. George of England.




2.3. The king : Louis XII

Louis d'Orléans was declared King of France, on April 8, 1498, under the name of Louis XII.

Louis XII (1462 – 1515)

To identify Louis XII, James Rorimer retains his pointed nose, the folds of his chin, the shape of his hair and his long fingers. The colors of his clothes are for the author convincing evidence : the king wears a white cap, a red and short dress or tunic and red and white striped stockings. After his marriage with Anne, Louis added white to his colors : red and yellow, and he often used the red and white only. In tapestries, some hunters wear the colors of Louis on their red and white stockings .

See THE UNICORN TAPESTRIES WERE MADE FOR ANNE OF BRITTANY by James J. Rorimer, Curator of Mediaeval Art and of The Cloisters, Bulletin of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Summer 1942.



2.5. Who is the "dauphin" ? (aged 13 years)



A son born but died very young, that the artist, however, has 'matured' to conjure the fate and give hope to the royal couple other male births ?

- Charles-Orland (son of Charles VIII)

- Francis (son of Louis XII)

- The future unborn son of Charles VIII and Louis XII ?

The Hunt the Unicorn was woven between 1495 and 1505.

Is his face a face of a child or a teenager ?

Jean Poyer, Livre d'heures d'Anne de Bretagne, 1492-1495
New York, The Morgan Library & Museum, ms. M 50, fol. 31.

To teach him his catechism, Anne of Brittany ordered a Book of Hours from Jean Poyer, the last illumination of which represents the three-year-old adolescent dolphin, as if to ward off his death. He prays on his knees before the empty throne which awaits him and which he will never ascend.

Laurel, symbol of victory and heroic strength.
Oak, symbol of majesty, power, wisdom and longevity.
Carnation, French Court considered it as the flower of France
(see Mary Tudor undoes her crown of Queen of France in the tapestry The Smell of The Lady and the Unicorn).

The scene "child-dog" is probably a loan to a drawing from 1460 to 1465 (Louvre) :
- Henri de Vulcop (The Trojan War) : I think that Jean Perreal could have been his student ?
- or the Master of Coëtivy for a project of tapestry, the Mission of Antenor in Greece and the Judgement of Pâris ?


Maternities of Anne of Brittany :

On November 15, 1491, Anne of Brittany married Charles VIII. Of her marriage to Charles, she had six children :
— Charles-Orland of France (October 10, 1492 - December 16, 1495).

The dolphin Charles-Orland, Jean Perréal ou Jean Hey, 1494, Louvre

— She lost a male child two months of her term in August 1493
— she gives birth in spring 1495, a daughter stillborn.
— Charles de France (September 8, 1496 - October 20, 1496)
— Francois de France (1497)
— Anne (20 March 1498) who died a few hours after
When the king died on April 7, 1498, all the children of Anne of Brittany (who is 21 years old) were died.

The grave of the children of d'Anne de Bretagne et de Charles VIII
Girolamo Paciarotto (Jérôme Pacherot) et atelier de Michel Colombe
Marbre de Carrare - cathédrale Saint-Gatien - Tours

Of the seven children from her marriage to Louis XII, only survived Claude and Renée :
— Claude de France (October 15, 1499)
—in 1500, the queen gives birth to a stillborn son.
— a boy, Francis, was born on 21 January 1503 but died immediately.
— a miscarriage in January 1508
— another one between 1505 and 1509
— Renée of France (October 20, 1510)

Jean Clouet - Renée de France - musée Condé - Chantilly

— on January 21, 1512, she gave birth to a boy who lives only a few days




2.6. Other sovereigns


Different tapestries were to recall the important sovereigns of the French monarchy. So, perhaps, are portrayed Pharamond and Clovis (the hunter that states the law with his raised finger, on the second tapestry) , Louis IX (carrying the Cross he acquired in 1241), Louis XI (eleven buttons on his belt and his young soul can be represented by the bird above his head), Charles d'Orléans father of Louis XII (head tilted like a portrait of him in a tapestry of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris ). And over the years, François 1er in a reported tapestry , the first of the current set, which initiates the theme of Christ.


tapisserie 1 : Francis the 1st (in the center) ?

tapestry 2 : Pharamond or Clovis ?

tapestry 3 : Louis XI ?

tapestry 4 : Charles d'Orléans ?


tapestry 6 : Louis IX ? He carries the Cross.

tapestry 7 : Christ, King of Heaven




3. The couple in the background,

under the arch


3.1. Anne de France


How could the artist represent Anne de France in a tapestry of The Hunt ?
What iconographical examples had he in his memory, in his notebooks, before his eyes ?

Perhaps, he had to "pass" by Saint Anne, the grandmother of Jesus and be guided by the events of her life : ?
— Anne is represented at the Golden Gate receiving the kiss of her future husband

— Anne is shown with his daughter Mary and her little son Jesus (scene called Holy Family and the grandmother took the name of St. Anne Trinitarian) ?
— She is the saint patron of carpenters and cabinetmakers (because her body has contained the boy Mary conceived, Jesus ; she would be the tabernacle of the tabernacle which received the Messiah, as the wooden tabernacle of the churches houses the consecrated hosts, the symbol the body of Christ).

What representation do we keep ? The kiss, of course, by which all began ! and which is a scene of mating and procréation :


Here are some "kisses" at the Golden Gate :

Byzantine icon

Giotto - c. 1303
fresco in the Scrovegni Chapel - Padoue

Le Maître de Moulins, c. 1500
Charlemagne and the meeting of Saint Anne and Saint Joachim at the Golden Gate
National Gallery - Londres

First panel of the polyptych The Life of the Virgin (in six panels)
attributed to the painter Jean de Montluçon illuminators and his son Jacquelin
end of the 15th - church Notre-Dame - Montluçon

Clearly, the artist follows the apocryphal gospels which say that the kiss is the fecundating element in the "unblemished" conception of Mary, according to the will of God, in the upper right !


The story is inspired by the proto-gospel of Jacques and the Golden Legend (Legenda aurea) of Jacques de Voragine.

Joachim and Anne, after twenty years of marriage, still have no children. One day Joachim presents his gifts at the altar of Yahweh in Jerusalem. He asks the hoped child, but the priest rejects him indignantly out of the temple : this infertile man has on him the sign of the curse. Joachim takes refuge with shepherds in the desert. An angel appears and tells him that his wife will give birth to a child they will call Mary. The angel also prevents Anne. Joachim returns to Jerusalem. The paintings above show the time of their meeting. Anne is "miraculously" pregnant with Mary. They love each other, they kiss.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The queen was not only the king's wife. She was mainly women of reproductive future king. Queens and princesses were educated and married with dignity for the sole purpose of childbearing with dignity heir male who was succeed the king on the throne.

Similarly, Christians assume that God's purpose was to "make" Anne and Mary procreative women of the highly anticipated Messiah-King ! Anne engenders and educates Marie to give birth to Jesus, without her knowing it.

Tapestry 6 suggests this by "playing" on the common name to both genealogies, one legendary, the other historical : Anne.


In front : the reigning royal couple. At left : the dolphin (death ? Unborn !).
Behind: princesses ready to reign or have been régents : Suzanne, Louise de Savoie (and her "Caesar", Francis waiting his time !), Anne de France and Pierre de Bourbon.

All tapestries of The Hunt may play on the ambiguity of these two letters A-3 that evoke both Anne of France and Anne of Brittany. And if behind the letters A-3 Anne de France was really hidden ?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Anne de France has educated :

Her younger brother Charles after the death of their father Louis XI : he was then 13 years.

Louise of Savoy : born in 1476, daughter of Philip, Duke of Savoy, and Marguerite de Bourbon. In 1483, after the death of her mother, with her little brother Philibert, she is entrusted to the age of 7, to her aunt, Anne de Beaujeu. In 1490, at 14 years, she marries Charles of Orleans, Count of Angouleme ; she has two children : Marguerite d'Angoulême (grandmother of Henry IV) and Francis 1st.

— Margaret of Austria : born in 1480, conducted at Amboise in 1483 at the age of 3 years, promised to the bride Dolphin, 10 years her senior, the future Charles VIII. But in 1491, for political reasons, he refers her with her dowry to her father and marries Anne de Bretagne.

— Her daughter Suzanne : born in 1491.

— Diane de Poitiers : born in 1499 or 1500, only daughter of Jean de Poitiers, and Jeanne de Batarnay. Motherless at age 6, she spent her early years with Anne de Beaujeu. She was the favorite of King Henri II of France for over 20 years. In 1515, aged only fifteen, she married Louis de Breze, his elder by nearly 40 years, grand-son of Charles VII and Agnes Sorel. She has two daughters, Frances and Louise

— Anne de France will give them a careful education, surrounded by great respect, tenderness and care. It will have an important influence on their future.

— Anne of Brittany : born in 1477. Her mother, Marguerite de Foix died in 1486, and her father, Francis II of Brittany in 1488.

— Anne de France was placed by Louis XII near Mary Tudor, his third wife, "to inform her the ways in France".
Read the three pages of this website dedicated to Mary

— Charles de Montpensier : she is her godmother and she éduquâtes him when he becomes an orphan at the age of 11. Born in February 17, 1490, he is the second of six children of Gilbert de Bourbon, Count of Montpensier and Claire de Gonzague, daughter of Frederic Gonzague, Marquis of Mantua.

Charles becomes head of the family at age 11 in 1501: his father dies in Italy in October 5, 1496 and his mother in June 5, 1503. His older brother, Louis, heir to the title, dies in Naples in 1501.

With his brother Francis, he is educated by Anne. He lives in Moulins, in the court of Bourbon. Anne will make him the brilliant man he was by all accounts. In Moulins and Chantelle, he meets every day his first cousin Suzanne, who has the same age, whom he married in 1505.


An article in which everything is said about the role of "teacher" of Anne of France :
Élodie Lequain, The House of Bourbon, " school of virtue and perfection ". Anne of France, Suzanne of Bourbon and Pierre Martin

3.2. Bourbon family in the tapissery 6



3.2.1. Anne de France and Pierre de Bourbon


Pierre II de Bourbon is about to kiss his wife Anne de France
under the arch of the "Golden Gate".

Anne de France is enhanced and has very a preeminent place. Looking at the tapestry away, she really stands out and appears to the eye, framed by the arch. The artist really values her.

Pierre de Bourbon is treated more humbly, not because he is dead, but because hehad to efface himself before his wife. He is presented without emphasis, as in miniature as follows :

frontispiece of the Articles of the Order of St. Michel
copy for Pierre II de Bourbon, painted on the extreme right
c. 1495, miniature on parchment - BNF - fr. f.1 14363

His death in 1503 can help us date The Hunt.

The sculpted medallions of Anne and Pierre
watch the street near the ducal castle of Moulins

initials of Pierre and Anne de Beaujeu
united by the belt "Hope" ("Espérance")
(sculpted on the porch of the castle)



3.2.2. Their daughter :

Suzanne (ou Susanne) de Bourbon


Under her dress, a black skirt is discovered. Is this the mark of mourning ? Her father, who died in his castle of Moulins in October 10, 1503 ?

The black part of the clothing could be added after the beginning of weaving, after the death of Pierre de Bourbon, which could be the sponsor of The Hunt. This would help to date this tapestry of The Hunt.

Watch Suzanne (Suse-Anne) ! She seems very young. Her headdress bears precious gems ! On her neck, a necklace with a medallion. We know that Anne de France was very attentive to the fate of Suzanne, her only child. She seems to have insisted that Suzanne be represented as a princess in a dynastic character image. As she was in the Triptych of Moulins.

She is the last person in the "space" of the tapestries. On the extreme right. Where every western reading ends. She ends the long list of characters that have followed since the first tapestry !

In this tapestry, Anne de France wears nothing fancy : clothing, jewelry ... This is simply, according to Howard, a mother who gives to her loved young daughter a gift for her engagement, or marriage, on her birthday.

The family of Beaujeu in that stained glass of the cathedral of Moulins ?

Anne de France and Pierre de Beaujeu have two children : Charles de Bourbon (1476-1498) and Suzanne (1491-1521).
On the stained glass : Suzanne already girl and a boy kneeling.

On the Triptych : Suzanne greater, but no Charles.

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Suzanne is a female name of biblical origin derived from the Hebrew "Shoshannnah" (meaning both "lily" and "rose"). The term itself comes from "Shoshan or Shoushan" (Lily), but also of "Shoushan", the city of Susa.

Susa or Shushan was an ancient city of the Elamite civilization. It became in the fifth century before our era the capital of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, located in south of Iran ; now it is a field of ruins. The small Iranian city of Shush, built near has taken its continuity.

In the Old Testament, this name appears in a Greek addendum to the Book of Daniel, the 13th chapter in the Vulgate ("de liberatione castae Susannae", "the release of the chaste Suzanne").

The story of Susanna and the Elders takes place in Babylonia. A young woman, Suzanne, surprise during his bath, refused the proposals of two unscrupulous old men who, in revenge, accuse her of adultery and make condemned her to death by the religious court. But the young prophet Daniel comes, proves her innocence and does condemn the Elders.

In the New Testament, Suzanne is one of the women who follow Jesus and assist him in his travels : Luke 8, 1-3

Note :
— the look of the character from left to Suzanne
— looks "suspicious" of the two men
—- and sinister-looking of the "conspirators"
—- the movements of their left hands
— and the position of Suzanne, with her companions, near a grove of trees

(it seems that the black hat of the man at left is a later addition : uniform color, texture and different like new)

A moral lesson from the mother and father to their daughter Suzanne to remain virgin until marriage, like the biblical Suzanne, pious and chaste.



What dark secrets in the Tower ?



Who are these two pairs of characters : one (a woman and a man imprisoned ?) behind bars ; the other (two men) at the top ?

And yet, at the foot of the tower, the two men with looks of conspirators ?




Among different solutions, the most likely is the following : Cassandra, daughter of Priam, king of Troy, and his jailer. According to Lycophron, a Greek poet born about 320, in his poem Alexandra, Priam, who considered his daughter was mad, had imprisoned her in a pyramidal tower built on the Ates ; a guardian placed near her was to bring back to him the words of her prophecies.

Homer does not recount this Troyan sequence because he does not mention the prophetic gifts of the beautiful Cassandra. This story is also found in the Oresteia by Aeschylus and The Trojan Womenby Euripides.




There are two reasons for this interpretation :

The great number of the recovered manuscripts of the poem Alexandra proves that it has been read a lot.

The same scene is found in the tapestry The War of Troy : Helene's abduction kept in the cathedral of Zamora in Spain, woven in Tournai on drawings of the brothers Conrad and Henry de Vulcop between 1465 and 1475. Jean Perreal could have been apprentice and student in their working group and then inherited part of their drawings fund.







If this question seems resolved, another one immediately appears : what misfortune announces Cassandra enclosed in the tower of  The Hunt, which would concern the royal couple, for example, present in the center of this tapestry ? If it is Anne of Brittany and Charles VIII, it can only be the death of their six children, all dead in infancy. If it is Anne of Brittany and Louis XII, would it be the death of two of their four children before she died at 36 in 1514 ? 




Other characters may be envisaged behind the bars :

Jeanne of France and Louis II d'Orléans (the future Louis XII). Prisoner after the battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier, which puts an end to the "Guerre Folle" (1485-1488), Louis II d'Orléans (cousin of the future King Louis XII) is locked into fortresses (in Lusignan, Poitiers, Mehun-sur-Yèvre and finally to the great tower of Bourges).Jeanne de France, the wife abandoned by the prisoner, came to see her husband in each of its prisons, and each time she was rejected.

– The legend of Eve and Judas expiating the death of Jesus.


Cimon and Pero. The historian Valerius Maximus tells this anecdote: Cimon condemned to death by starvation in prison, is fed by his daughter Pero that breastfeeds him by visiting him every day. This subject will be drawn and painted as the Caritas Romana, the Roman charity.



Two of the protagonists of the "scandal of the Tour de Nesle", one of four daughters of Philippe le Bel and their lovers : Marguerite de Bourgogne, wife of Louis X le Hutin, and one of her lovers (with Philippe d 'Aulnay, Knight of the king's) or Blanche d'Artois (daughter of Othon IV), wife of Charles IV le Bel (with Gautier d'Aulnay, the brother of Philippe).Convicted of adultery with the help of her step-sisters, Marguerite was condemned (with Blanche) to confinement in Château-Gaillard, where she died in 1315. Jeanne was locked in the castle of Dourdan. The two brothers Aulnay were tortured very cruelly.


Do you see like me an architectural resemblance between this part of the tapestry 6 with this representation of the ancient Tour de Nesle in Paris ?


Thus, in two contiguous scenes, in the same tapestry,could be directly linked the recall of "the scandal of the Tour de Nesle" and the presence of Anne de France and his daughter Suzanne. "Adultery" in the Tower and "Loyalty" under the Golden Gate ! A "lesson" presented in The Lessons of Anne de France, Duchess of Bourbonnais and Auvergne, to her daughter, Susanne de Bourbon.


At the top of the tower

The spectators (enthusiastic or otherwise) on the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem ;

or such as are found in medieval miniatures :

Details of tapestries
1- The Coronation of TarquiniusPriscus
2- The Fallof Troy
attributed to Conrad and Henry de Vulcop
Cathedral of Zamora - Spain



3.2.3. The husband of Suzanne :

Charles de Montpensier


The " complex de of the occiput " has to be identified in this scene. As in the tapestry 2 (The Fountain), a character is located just behind a more "important" character and his eyes fixed his neck as if he wished cross the brain and reappear through the eyes. Here, the man with the yellow hair could be Charles de Montpensier, the future Charles III de Bourbon and Constable of Bourbon. Anne de France was also a mentor for him, a "director of conscious," which has "opened his eyes." He has learned to "see the world through her eyes."





3.3.4. Who is this fourth character ?


We see only the top of the head and an eye (the painter's eye ?) from this character. He could be Jean Perréal who owes a great part of his career to the protection of Anne de France. It would, for our artist, a way to honor his " mentor" ! The artist is already present in the dog (Jean Perréal = "perro real" = royal dog in Spanish) welcomed by the dolphin.)




3.2.5. Anamorphosis ?


And at the bottom, in the right corner of this tapestry, a deleted form, as lurking, ambushed, no readable, anamorphic.
This enigmatic element could be an anamorphosis, as, I believe, there is one at the top of the tent of the tapestry My only desire of The Lady and the Unicorn.
The first anamorphoses have been drawn by Leonardo da Vinci : a child's face and one eye (Codex Atlanticus, 1485). To access the anamorphosis of the eye, click here.

The head of a dog that emerges from the végétation ? The ultimate signature of the Perro-Real (the royal dog) ? Who is the Master of his Creation ! The Great Architect of this microcosm !

James Rorimer writes : "The fact that more arms and insignia do not appear on the five central tapestries which originally hung together as a group (the first and last tapestries hung in a different room) in the ancestral castle of the Rochefoucauld family at Verteuil is explained by an edict of 1793, sent to the Société populaire of Verteuil from the Société populaire of Ruffec, which ordered that all tapestries having royal insignia be destroyed. If we compare the upper sky and verdure sections of the unicorn tapestries with somewhat earlier fragments in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts we have an explanation for the stupid cutting at the top of our tapestries and also for the lack of easy identification."

Thus disappeared :

— at the top of the apestries, explanatory texts ? (which would explain why some trees of the tapestry 3 are headless)

— and the right bottom of the tapestry 6, a sign of nobility, an aristocratic symbol ?

We can imagine one of the many references to the Bourbons : the initials "P" and "A", the "belt Hope", the Winged Deer and the Thistle.



4. It remains to explain the ownership of The Hunt

to the family of La Rochefoucauld


Buying or gift and later addition of sewn letters F-R ?


The castle in VERTEUIL in France where stayed The Hunt of the Unicorn




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