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The Lady and the Unicorn - Art Gallery of NSW

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The Lady and the Unicorn: A mon seul desir -, Public Domain,

The Art Gallery of NSW has secured the beautiful medieval tapestries of 'The Lady and the Unicorn' for a limited display, on loan from the Musee de Cluny in Paris. Referred to by some as the Mona Lisa of the Middle Ages, these artworks have only been showcased outside of France three times in the last 500 years.

The Lady and the Unicorn: Sight, Musee de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Age, Paris. Photo © RMN-GP / Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Age / M Urtado

The six tapestries have an enigmatic allure to them. On their face, they show a lady with a lion and a unicorn, in the midst of a forest full of trees and animals. Each tapestry is meant to be an allegorical representation of one of the five senses. But what does the sixth mean?

This display was put together very quickly and the Gallery has done an excellent job. Suitable for young and old, as well as displaying the tapestries in a room for a 360-degree rotational experience, the exhibition also includes a cute animation that brings the forest animals to life. There is also an interactive display that lets little fingers (and big ones) zoom up close on different sections of the tapestry and a comfy room with a sofa and different looms, to let people try a bit of tapestry themselves.

The final corridor also features a bestiary of the different animal exhibits that the Art Gallery of New South Wales has in its collection.

Well worth a visit! You can now experience this centuries-old artwork without having to fork out for the airfare to Paris. Recommended.
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Why? Rare opportunity to see a French national treasure outside of France
Phone: 1800 679 278
Where: Art Gallery of NSW
Cost: $18 adults, $8 child, $16 concession, $44 family
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