Master of the Unicorn Hunt

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(fl c. 1480–1510). French designer of tapestries, illuminator, designer of woodcuts and stained glass. He was the principal designer of seven magnificent tapestries representing the pursuit and capture of a unicorn (New York, Cloisters), which costume details suggest were designed c. 1500. The tapestries were probably woven in Brussels, the pre-eminent centre for tapestry production c. 1500, but their style and provenance indicate the Master was of French origin. Although the initials ae found on all seven panels have been used to connect them with Queen Anne of Brittany, whose collection of tapestries was considerable, there is no clear indication for whom they were commissioned. They are first recorded in 1680 in Paris among the possessions of Duc François VI de La Rochefoucauld. The letters fr (restored, but original) on one of the tapestries suggests the possibility that the set was originally connected with François I de La Rochefoucauld (d 1516), a prominent member of the French court. Records of lost tapestries made c. 1500 for this family (Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS. Gough DRW. Gaignières 16, fols 58–9), however, have not confirmed this theory.


From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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