The Last Supper

and the Apostles

in The Hunt of the Unicorn

The second tapestry "The Fountain" by the arrangement arc of a circle of 12 personages around a cylindrical element can evoke the Last Supper, the last meal that Jesus shared with Apostles.

The figures are arranged three by three as in The Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci.

In The Last Supper, two topics are mentioned : the announcement of the betrayal of Judas and the creation of the Holy Eucharist

• Matthieu : 26 17-30 • Marc : 14, 12-26 • Luc : 22, 7-38 • Jean : 13, 17-30


Léonard de Vinci - 1495-1498 -refectory of the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie - Milan

Léonard de Vinci - Study for the head of Christ at the Last Supper
Pinacothèque de Brera - Milan
male or female face ?



In The Hunt, the artist has grouped the personages into four groups of three as in da Vinci's Last Supper, in highly diversified attitudes.

Like da Vinci (the first to do so), Perréal has included Judas in all of the Apostles, reserving for him a position still 'ruled out' to the far left.

The fountain could symbolize the Christian church, as in medieval paintings or miniatures.

"God is a circle whose center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere."
Nicolas Krebs (1401 - 1464) alias Nicolas of Cusa.

(the center of the node between the two letters on the fountain and all points on the circumference of the circle of living beings and the flora)

No circle without a central point, which would mean "we believe in God."

Search all foods available : meat and fruit, water, bread, wine (present at every meal as the Wedding of Cana or the Last Supper) the bread and wine 'become' the body and blood of Christ - Unicorn

Matthew, 26.26-29


The attributes the most frequently associated to the Apostles

in the Christian iconography, in the order presented in this tapestry 2 of The Hunt


Judas Iscariot : Hangman (his suicide), or a purse in his hand and giving a kiss to Jesus (the betrayal)

John the Evangelist : often depicted young and beardless (the youngest of 12), sometimes accompanied by a cauldron of boiling water (his torture) and a palm (the martyr), very frequently as a an eagle (the theologian evangelist and writer of the Apocalypse)

Jude Thaddeus : the mace (the instrument of torture)

Simon the Zealot : represented cut in half from where the attribute of a saw. He frequently accompanies Jude Thaddeus, his half-brother

Bartholomew, also known as Nathanael : sometimes represented skinned or with his body on his arm (his torture), sometimes with a large knife (instrument of torture)

Jacques the Major : shown with the shell of the pilgrim to Saint Jacques de Compostela. Sometimes, he carries a roll (The New Law) or a sword (the weapon of his decapitation)

Matthew : weighing the gold scale or the purse , the spear (instrument of his execution), the angel (figure of the Evangelist)

Jacques the Minor : wearing a miter (the first Bishop of Jerusalem), with a club-shaped butt (his skull was broken), frequently confounded with the other Jacques

Peter : the key (gatekeeper of paradise) but also the boat (the symbol of the Church which he has the charge), the rooster (his denial), the strings (his imprisonment), the inverted cross (his martyrdom) or a triple cross brace (papal dignity)

Thomas : his finger in the wound of Christ, or the square as an architect (evangelization of India), the spear (instrument of his martyrdom)

Philip : the double cross or the triple crosses (his martyrdom), a stone (his lapidation)

Andrew : the cross in the form of X (where he was crucified), the feet and hands tied by ropes


Mary Magdalene, " the Apostle to the Apostles "

Is she the central character of this group of three women?
Mary Magdalene called "the apostle to the apostles" in becoming the messenger of the Resurrection.

To see the page in French, click here and here


The twelwe Peers of France


- the archbishop-duc de Reims (anoints, crowns)
- the bishop-duc de Laon (bears the Sainte Ampoule containing the sacred ointment)
- the bishop-duc de Langres (bears the scepter)
- the bishop-count of Beauvais (bears the royal mantle)
- the bishop-count of Châlons (bears the royal ring)
- the bishop-count of Noyon (bears the belt)
- the duc de Bourgogne (bears the crown, fastens the belt)
- the duc de Normandie (holds the first square banner)
- the duc d'Aquitaine or Guyenne (holds the second square banner)
- the count of Toulouse (carries the spurs)
- the count of Flandre (carries the sword)
- the count of Champagne (holds the royal standard)



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