“The Mona Lisa of the tapestry” has been loaned only three times on an exceptional basis, abroad.
The Lady and the Unicorn, a famous tapestry from the 1500s in the Musée de Cluny in Paris, will be loaned to the Abattoirs de Toulouse in the fall, coming out for the first time for an exhibition in France, the museum told AFP.
Considered “the Mona Lisa of the tapestry”, this work – innovative in its time by the way it celebrates the image of women and nature – will dialogue with works by contemporary artists. She will also be confronted with the stage curtain by Pablo Picasso, “The Remains of the Minotaur in Harlequin Costume” produced in 1936, a flagship work of the Musée des Abattoirs.
A strong axis of cultural policy
The Lady and the Unicorn, a large ensemble composed of six pieces, has been loaned only three times on an exceptional basis, abroad: to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in New York, in Japan and in Sydney. This exhibition in the Pink City will take place from October 30 to January 16, the modernization project of the Cluny museum not allowing the tapestry to be shown in Paris.
“It was important”, underlined Séverine Lepape, director of the Parisian museum, “that the masterpiece is visible during the closing of the museum. However the health context was complicated on the international level”. “Solidarity between national museums and community museums must constitute a strong axis of cultural policy coming out of the unprecedented crisis” of the Covid, she added to AFP.
The Lady and the Unicorn has already visited Toulouse: it had been sheltered at the Couvent des Jacobins during the First World War. In the first quarter of 2022, the Cluny museum will reopen its doors in the Latin Quarter, after seven years of redesigning its museum and architectural routes, to tell 1000 years of art history.