Taste: The Lady and the Unicorn

The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry in the Cluny Museum of the Middle Ages in Paris.

The Lady and the Unicorn (La Dame à la licorne)is a cycle of six wall-hanging tapestries made around 1500. These are the most famous items in the Cluny Museum of the Middle Ages in Paris.

All six tapestries show a lady flanked by a lion and a unicorn together with a variety of other animals, birds, flowers, and floral designs. On five the senses are depicted: hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch.

The meaning of the sixth tapestry has been debated for years. Here, the lady is in front of a tent with the words “À mon seul désir” (“To my only desire”). It is generally interpreted as a renunciation of worldly possessions and pleasures, or as a reference to courtly love.