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The Lady and the Unicorn

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A tour de force of history and imagination, The Lady and the Unicorn is Tracy Chevalier’s answer to the mystery behind one of the art world’s great masterpieces—a set of bewitching medieval tapestries that hangs today in the Cluny Museum in Paris. They appear to portray the seduction of a unicorn, but the story behind their making is unknown—until now.

Paris, 1490.  A shrewd French nobleman commissions six lavish tapestries celebrating his rising status at Court. He hires the charismatic, arrogant, sublimely talented Nicolas des Innocents to design them. Nicolas creates havoc among the women in the house—mother and daughter, servant, and lady-in-waiting—before taking his designs north to the Brussels workshop where the tapestries are to be woven. There, master weaver Georges de la Chapelle risks everything he has to finish the tapestries—his finest, most intricate work—on time for his exacting French client. The results change all their lives—lives that have been captured in the tapestries, for those who know where to look.

In The Lady and the Unicorn, Tracy Chevalier weaves fact and fiction into a beautiful, timeless, and intriguing literary tapestry—an extraordinary story exquisitely told.

250 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2003

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About the author

Tracy Chevalier

51 books9,440 followers
19 October 1962 in Washington, DC. Youngest of 3 children. Father was a photographer for The Washington Post.

Nerdy. Spent a lot of time lying on my bed reading. Favorite authors back then: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeleine L’Engle, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Joan Aiken, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander. Book I would have taken to a desert island: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

BA in English, Oberlin College, Ohio, 1984. No one was surprised that I went there; I was made for such a progressive, liberal place.

MA in creative writing, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, 1994. There’s a lot of debate about whether or not you can be taught to write. Why doesn’t anyone ask that of professional singers, painters, dancers? That year forced me to write all the time and take it seriously.

Moved to London after graduating from Oberlin in 1984. I had studied for a semester in London and thought it was a great place, so came over for fun, expecting to go back to the US after 6 months to get serious. I’m still in London, and still not entirely serious. Even have dual citizenship – though I keep the American accent intact.

1 English husband + 1 English son + 1 tortoiseshell cat.

Before writing, was a reference book editor, working on encyclopedias about writers. (Yup, still nerdy.) Learned how to research and how to make sentences better. Eventually I wanted to fix my own sentences rather than others’, so I quit and did the MA.

Talked a lot about becoming a writer as a kid, but actual pen to paper contact was minimal. Started writing short stories in my 20s, then began first novel, The Virgin Blue, during the MA year. With Girl With a Pearl Earring (written in 1998), I became a full-time writer, and have since juggled it with motherhood

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,235 reviews
Profile Image for Jan Raspen.
656 reviews3 followers
July 15, 2013
If I ever read the word maidenhead again in a novel, I will vomit from the flashback of reading this book.
Profile Image for CatarinaG.
112 reviews21 followers
December 17, 2015
Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!
I found Lady and the Unicorn even better than Girl with a Pearl Earring. I felt utterly transported to the middle ages and immersed in a very good tale, immaculately told.
As she did with The Girl With the Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier takes a classic work of art and artfully spins a tale inspired by the original which becomes an original itself.
It was specially fascinating living among the Brussels weavers and coming to understand the magnitude of their task. One almost feels their physical discomfort and certainly the realities of a labor intensive craft. It was the part of the book I most enjoyed.
Next time I go to Paris I will not miss the Cluny Museum to see the tapestries for myself!
Meanwhile we can see them (in full size) at VanderNat's home page or at Tracy Chevalier's official site

One of the most beautifull books I have ever read :)
Now on I will look for the color blue in old tapestries with 'other eyes'. ;)
Profile Image for Julie.
2,907 reviews43 followers
April 10, 2008
In the same vein as her book Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Lady and the Unicorn is a fictional account of the story surrounding the creation of the famed Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries, now housed at the Musee national du Moyen-Age (Musee Cluny) in Paris. This topic was particularly intriguing to me, since I'd seen the tapestries in person back in 2001.

While the book provides a really interesting up-close look at the design and weaving processes, I could have done with out the rest of the story, which was fairly bawdy. I didn't really care about the characters—just the tapestries. :D It's a good read if you want to find out how it was done (keeping in mind that it's not really a history book) and don't mind the bawdiness, but I wouldn't exactly recommend it to my mother.

...who of course, then received the book as a gift from a friend and read it anyway. Go figure.
Profile Image for Morticia Adams.
70 reviews5 followers
November 4, 2010
I hope someone has pointed out to Tracy Chevalier that if you are going to have seven different narrators for your story, you really need to give each of them a distinctive voice. This is a major failing of this novel, which I found plodding and flat, and lacking in any genuine exploration of character or motivation. The harsh working lives of the weavers are described in some detail but the description doesn't connect with the characters. And also, if you are going to use the first person in a historical novel, try to make it fit the context, and don't describe anything as "peppered with" since peppers in this era would not have been very well known. I know that isn't a major flaw but it just added to the sense of inauthenticity.

The tapestries aren't one of my favourite works of art anyway, and the twee way in which the unicorn allegory was presented made me want to go and find a unicorn and strangle it!

The Girl with the Pearl Earring wasn't a bad read - but having read this later product, I suspect that this writer hasn't really got much more to say.
15 reviews2 followers
July 24, 2007
What I learned from this book is I should never ever read anything by this author ever again. A friend of mine was enthralled by The Virgin Blue and requested I read it. Although I hated it I thought I'd possibly give The Lady and the Unicorn a chance since I love art history. Sadly, I cannot say I liked a single thing about this book. I hated the plot, story, characters and writing style. Hated.
Profile Image for Stavroula P..
57 reviews36 followers
July 11, 2017
Από τα καλύτερα βιβλία που διάβασα το τελευταίο διάστημα!! Το ξεκίνησα εχθές με μία επιφύλαξη αλλά σήμερα που το συνέχισα διαψεύσθηκα. Η Chevalier ξεδιπλώνει μια ιστορία , με τα ελάχιστα στοιχεία που είναι γνωστά από ιστορικής άποψης, με αριστοτεχνικό τρόπο. Οι ήρωες, τα γεγονότα, όλα μπλέκονται μεταξύ τους με τέτοιον τρόπο ώστε μοιάζουν με ενιαίο σύνολο που πράγματι κάποτε συνέβη και δεν φαίνεται να αποτελούν αποκύημα της φαντασίας της συγγραφέως. Οι σελίδες κυλούν πολύ εύκολα και ενώ από την μία πλευρά εύχεσαι να τελειώσει για να μάθεις τι θα γίνει από την άλλη δεν θες να αποχωριστείς τους χαρακτήρες.
Ο Νικολά ντεζ Ινοσέν υπήρξε ο αγαπημένος μου παρά τον επιπόλαιο χαρακτήρα του. Δεν νευρίασα μαζί του και μάλιστα στεναχωρήθηκα που δεν μπόρεσε να είναι μαζί με την αγαπημένη του. Παρά τον αυθορμητισμό που τον διακατείχε και την απερισκεψία κάποιες φορές, δεν μπόρεσε να μου δημιουργήσει αρνητικά συναισθήματα. Γρήγορα μάλιστα παρατήρησα στροφή στον χαρακτήρα του , κυρίως μετά το πρώτο ταξίδι του στις Βρυξέλλες. Λυπήθηκα για τον ανεκπλήρωτο ωστόσο έρωτά του. Όπως επίσης λυπήθηκα και την Κλόντ. Μια ηρωίδα υποταγμένη στις αποφάσεις και τα θέλω της μητέρας της που αγνοούσε όμως τα αισθήματα του ίδιου της του παιδιού σκόπιμα στερώντας της την χαρά που και η ίδια δεν κατόρθωσε να ζήσει. Την αντιπάθησα τόσο πολύ που ήθελα να σκίσω τις σελίδες που διάβαζα ώρες ώρες. Έβαλε την κόρη της στο μοναστήρι για να την προστατεύσει από έναν "επικίνδυνο" ζωγράφο που, κατά την γνώμη μου, αγαπούσε αληθινά την νεαρή κοπέλα. Ήταν ασυγχώρητη. Υποτίθεται ό,τι έκανε ήταν προς όφελος της Κλόντ αλλά μόνο έτσι δεν ήταν τα πράγματα. Ήθελε να στερήσει την χαρά και την αγάπη από την κόρη της για έναν απλό λόγο (που και η ίδια γνώριζε): την ζήλια. Που η Κλόντ βρήκε κάποιον να αγαπά και που την αγαπάει εν αντιθέση με εκείνη που έμεινε δεσμευμένη σε έναν αποτυχημένο γάμο. Οι καλές προθέσεις της φάνηκαν και στο τέλος εξάλλου καθώς αφήνεται να εννοηθεί πως ούτε η Κλόντ αλλά ούτε και ο Νικολά έζησαν ευτυχισμένοι.
Παρά το τέλος , το βιβλίο μου άφησε μια ευχάριστη αίσθηση και την επιθυμία να διαβάσω και άλλα βιβλία της συγγραφέως !
Profile Image for Lavinia.
745 reviews794 followers
May 4, 2019
I suppose that's how you write historical fiction (looking at you, Simone van der Vlugt!)

The Brussels section is glorious, with all the weaving details and the particulars of the craft. I'm beyond amazed each time an author takes the hard way and engages in lots of research, such as tapestry techniques in the Middle Ages—setting up looms, threads, colours, dyeing methods and all that jazz—and manages to bring everything together in an enthralling narrative. Also, I'm constantly amazed at how incredibly well the craft guilds were organized in Medieval Flanders.

The Paris section is a bit trivial, but somewhat appropriate, I guess?

Unfortunately, I didn't connect with any of the characters (definitely didn't root for the unlikely pair), but having the story told from multiple pov certainly helped with shaping and depth.
Profile Image for Chrissie.
2,651 reviews1,484 followers
August 14, 2012
I am impressed. I never thought this book would be as lovely as Girl with a Pearl Earring: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...! First let me just explain that this is a book of historical fiction. In the Museé National du Moyen-Age we can today see the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. They are six tapestries, each representing one of our five senses:
sight, sound, smell, touch, taste and the sixth, that one is known as Á Mon Seul Désir, for these words are found woven there. In English the translation would be: my one, sole desire. Think about those words in conjunction with the theme of the other tapestries and imagine what they might mean. In any case, the tapestries and this book must be about seduction. Or is it about forgoing sensual pleasures? One cannot see if the women is putting in or taking out the jewels.

Little is known of these wool and silk tapestries except that they were woven at the end of the 1400s, probably in Flanders. They were commissioned by the Le Visté family, since the banner is visible in all six of the tapestries. Tracy Chevalier weaves a credible story about these tapestries: Jean Le Visté, a fifteenth-century nobleman, close to the French King Charles VII, commissions Nicolas des Innocents, a talented miniaturist, tantalized by the charms of several beautiful women - maids, ladies-in-waiting and even Jean Le Visté’s daughter and wife, too. The tapestries are woven in Brussels by the renown weaver Georges de la Chapelle. The story captures the lives and times of noblemen and the guilds’ craftsmen living in Brussels and Paris at the end of the 1400s.

Tracy Chevalier, the author, has done her homework. She knows these cities, the craftsmen and these times – down to the smallest details. She knows that in Brussels it is the early summer sun that shines the hottest:

I sat back on my heels and raised my face to the sun. Early summer is good for sun, as it is directly overhead for longer during the day. I have always loved heat, though not from the fire. Fires scare me. I have singed my skirts too often by the fire.

‘Will you pick me a strawberry, Mademoiselle?’ Nicolas asked. ‘I have a thirst.’

‘They’re not ripe yet,’ I snapped. I had meant to sound pleasant but he made me feel strange. And he was talking too loudly. People often do when they discover I am blind…..
(pages 110-111: a short interchange of words between Nicolas and Aliénor de la Chapelle, the pretty, but blind daughter of Geroges de la Chapelle)

Already we know by 100 pages that Nicolas has impregnated a maid in Paris, been under a table doing naughty things with fourteen-year-old Claude, the daughter of Jean Le Visté, and flirted with her mother, Geneviève de Nanterre. What more mischief and indeed with whom will we find Nicolas? Each character has a clear identity. There is rivalry between mother and daughter; there is jealousy and love too. Each of the women came alive. There is Aliénor the blind girl. There is Christine du Sablon, the wife of Georges and mother of Aliénor. Each of the women and also the men relate the events. Different chapters relate different characters’ thoughts. Each of the individuals has a different perspective. Each has their own problems, personality and standing and thus they cannot have the same view. I loved the blind girl’s thoughts. I also appreciated the two different mother daughter relationships. For me, there was a lot to consider. I love the playful seduction scenes. I love the authenticity of the descriptions. I know Brussels and the author describes the city perfectly. The details are interwoven into the tale of families. There is a wife that has given birth to only three daughters, and that is quite a failing when it is a son that is needed to carry on the family name. This novel is about not only the tapestries but also about women, several very different women. So while we learn history about these tapestries and times we also delve into familiar family relationships. The book is about rivalry between mothers and daughters, lost love between a husband and wife and about the life of women as they age. What makes it wonderful to read is the author’s ability to evoke different places and characters convincingly.
Profile Image for Berengaria.
297 reviews38 followers
April 9, 2021
"The Lady and the Unicorn" is tale about desire in all of its manifested forms. The desire to be of use, the desire to find happiness, the desire to be inspired, the desire to be free...and all centred around one of the most famous series of early Renaissance tapestries, thought to have been created around 1490 in Belgium.

The (female) characters in the novel are at once the images in the tapestries and real women, their stories woven together like a tapestry to tell the story of the creation of the tapestries. A type of mirroring of a mirroring...with the inevitable refractions, exaggerations and misinterpretations that brings with it. Very, very interesting from a thematic and symbolic standpoint!

They all can also be seen as allegorical types...just as the art of the Middle Ages / Renaissance was largely allegorical:

There is the mother whose "seul desir" is to find spiritual peace (The Seeker). There is the maiden whose "seul desir" is to be as free as she can be (The Nymph). There is the blind girl whose 'seul desir' it is to be of use and valued (The Outsider) and then there is the wife whose "seul desir" is to create like the men around her (The Artist/The Spider).

The men are allegorical as well, but damned to more mundane things like placing the order and painting the original designs.

This is my 5th Chevalier and I enjoyed it immensely, even if I had a hard time placing myself in 1490 due to the lack of concrete historical descriptions from that time. I liked this one more than "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" btw. It's much tighter in its symbolism and relevance to the theme.

The virulently negative responses by other (female) readers to the sexuality in the novel surprised me, though. Personally, I found nothing offensive in the novel, but that it was just one of the many manifestations of desire: the theme of the novel.

5 Stars

Profile Image for Lizzy.
36 reviews8 followers
April 28, 2012
Was hoping to enjoy The Lady and the Unicorn after reading Burning Bright a few years earlier, which is, to be honest, far superior to this. After the action moves away from the Le Viste family, it kind of goes downhill from there. Nicholas is thoroughly unlikeable as a character (whether this was meant to be deliberate or not, I couldn't tell). The only interesting person was Genevieve de Nanterre. Also, what's the deal with Chevalier missing out on the chance to use Jean Le Viste's narrative voice? He is the reason the tapestry is made at all, but we only get a few glimpses of him being little more than a stereotype (of the "I'm-so-damn-important-that-I'll-blame-my-lack-of-an-heir-on-my-wife-simply-because-no-one-will-dare-argue-with-me" variety) and all round bastard. Aside from all this, the writing is clunky. Nicholas leers after any woman with a pulse (including fourteen year old girls) and comes out with cringeworthy lines such as "The sight of her tongue made me hard. I wanted to plough her" and "Come closer, my dear, and see my plums. Squeeze them." Had the writing been less like a Mills & Boon novel it could have just about saved this book. Oh, well. I'm hoping Remarkable Creatures is going to turn out better.
Profile Image for Gary.
932 reviews196 followers
February 5, 2021
I enjoyed this book but did' not care much for the protagonist, the womanising and arrogant artist , Nicholas DE Innocents, but this is also about a noble Parisian family and a Brussels tradesman and his family in the late 15th century. An essay on relations between men and woman at they type, and a lot of symbolism between the characters in the book and the figures of the tapestry which is commissioned by a Parisian nobleman.
Something to learn about tapestry making but does not deal with it in the same detail that say Irving Stone dealt marble in The Agony and The Ecstasy.
Tracy Chevalier is a brilliant word-smith who brings to life the sights and sounds and emotions and activities of the period pieces she specializes in. Her novel written after this Burning Bright is even better than this one
Profile Image for Blodeuedd Finland.
3,373 reviews290 followers
February 22, 2017
Everyone was kind of an idiot in this one.

We have the stuck up nobleman who thinks he is all that.
We have the artist who thinks he is god's gift to women. Ugh, what an ass. I wanted to slap him.
The nobleman's stupid daughter, God, what an idiot.

Then we moved on to Brussels to see the tapestry being made. Ok, that family was better. The daughter was better, but still, oh girl.

I think the only sane person was the maid for the rich family. Sure she made mistakes too, but, I understood her.

But the book was good. Nice setting, even if I wish that stupid artist had not been it.
Profile Image for Helvry Sinaga.
102 reviews25 followers
June 8, 2011
Sekumpulan permadani ditemukan pada tahun 1841 oleh Prosper Mérimée, seorang dramawan, sejarawan, dan arkeolog Prancis bersama dengan temannya, George Sand. Mereka menemukannya ketika menginap di Château de Boussac Prancis tengah. Ternyata permadani itu bukan sembarang permadani, itu adalah permadani dari abad pertengahan yang akhirnya membawa kontribusi besar pada sejarah abad pertengahan Prancis.

Siapa sebenarnya perancang atau pembuat permadani ini sebenarnya tidak diketahui. Tracy Chevalier 'membungkus' sejarah pembuatan enam permadani tersebut dengan kisah fiksi yang terjadi pada abad 15. Tidak semuanya fiksi, Tracy menuliskan di bagian akhir novel ini bahwa ia berusaha tetap setia pada sedikit fakta yang diketahui, termasuk membaca sumber-sumber sejarah abad pertengahan.

Tracy membagi tokoh-tokoh dalam novel ini menjadi 3 bagian. Pertama adalah keluarga bangsawan, yaitu Jean Le Viste. Istrinya: Genevieve De Nanterre. Anaknya: Claude Le Viste, Kedua adalah perancang dan makelar, yaitu Nicolas Des Innocents sebagai perancang sketsa, dan Leon Le Vieux sebagai makelar antara Jean Le Viste dan Nicholas. Ketiga adalah keluarga penenun permadani yaitu Georges De La Chapelle sebagai pemilik usaha pembuatan permadani, Christine Du Sablon (istri Georges De La Chapelle) , Aleinor De La Chapelle (anak perempuan Georges), Georges Le Jeune (anak laki-laki Georges) , Philippe De La Tour (bekerja pada Georges).

Jean Le Viste diceritakan sebagai bangsawan yang sangat dekat dengan Raja Louis XI. Ia ingin memperingati kenaikan pangkatnya dengan membuat permadani. Permadani itu akan dipajang di sebuah ruangan khusus. Awalnya, Jean Le Viste ingin menampilkan lambang keluarga yang berlatar belakang pertempuran. Unsur-unsur yang dikehendaki Le Viste yaitu: kuda-kuda, para lelaki dalam pakaian perang, panji-panji, tombak, pedang, perisai, dan darah. Namun, menurut pandangan Christine (istri Le Viste), gambar pertempuran sangat tidak elok dipajang di ruang rumah mereka. Karena itu ia mengusulkan lewat Nicholas, agar mengubah rancangan awal tadi dengan gambar anak perempuan mereka, Claude dengan binatang kesayangan Claude, yaitu Unicorn.

Usulan gambar yang baru dibuat. Jean Le Viste setuju, namun memberi batas waktu dua tahun untuk mengerjakan 6 permadani. Hal itu disanggupi oleh Leon dan Nicholas. Bagi mereka, hal itu akan menambah pundi-pundi kekayaan mereka, sebab Jean membayar sangat mahal demi sebuah prestise tersebut.

Leon dan Nicholas membawa hasil sketsa tersebut ke bengkel penenun permadani terkenal di Brussel (Belgia). Mereka memutuskan menyerahkan pekerjaan tersebut pada keluarga Georges De La Chapelle. Leon tidak percaya bahwa sketsanya akan dikerjakan sesuai dengan keinginannya. Karena itu, ia sekali waktu datang dari Prancis ke Brussel untuk memastikan apakah permadani tersebut telah selesai dikerjakan termasuk memastikan apakah sketsa yang ia buat telah sesuai dengan pengerjaannya.

Nicolas Des Innocents si pelukis ternyata bukanlah The Innocent seperti namanya. Sebelum menerima pekerjaan dari tuan Viste, ia adalah pelukis wanita dan pelukis miniatur. Karena itu, tawaran melukis pertempuran adalah seseuatu hal di luar kebiasaannya. Ia berpikiran sama dengan Christine, bahwa tidak perlu melukis pertempuran. Christine berpikiran bahwa memajang lukisan pertempuran di rumah mereka akan menyinggung perasaan prajurit yang bertempur, sementara suaminya tidaklah melakukan pertempuran. Sedangkan dari sisi Nicholas, ia menyenangi melukis wanita, karena ia juga sangat menyukai wanita namun untuk dibawa ke tempat tidur. Tema permadani "The Lady and The Unicorn" akhirnya ditentukan. Nicholas membagi tema The Lady and The Unicorn dalam 6 bagian. Bagian-bagian tersebut adalah

Tracy menulis novel ini dari berbagai sudut pandang tokoh. Karena dari berbagai sudut pandang, pembaca dapat mengetahui bagaimana tokoh tersebut menghadapi atau menyikapi suatu persoalan. Sederhananya, pembaca serasa menonton film. Contohnya bagaimana ketika Nicholas memandang Claude dan Genevieve yang akan dijadikan model dalam permadaninya:

Sebenarnya bukan hanya ia (Jean Le Viste) yang ingin kubuat terkesan, tapi juga istri dan anaknya. Aku tak yakin mana yang lebih menggugahku-Wajah cantik Claude atau wajah murung Genevieve. Barangkali bakal ada cukup ruang bagi keduanya di hutan si Unicorn

Ketika Claude menyadari bahwa dirinyalah yang dilukis Nicholas:

Lama kutatap gambar tersebut. Aku tak bisa mengalihkan pandanganku atau memindahkan gambar itu untuk melihat gambar selanjutnya. Ia telah melukisku. Ia memikirkanku seperti aku memikirkannya. Dadaku berdesir. mon seul désir

Ketika Genevieve menyadari bahwa sulitnya ia mengatur putri sulungnya:

Aku lelah memikirkan Claude. Aku lelah mengkhawatirkan apa yang akan terjadi padanya, sementara dia sendiri jelas-jelas tidak peduli pada dirinya sendiri. Untuk sesaat aku bahkan tergoda untuk mendorongnya ke pelukan pelukis itu dan menutup pintu rapat-rapat bagi mereka berdua selamanya. Tentu saja aku tak bisa melakukan hal itu...

Owkey...sekarang mari kita lihat masing-masing gambar pada permadani itu. Sumber gambar ini saya peroleh dari Musée National du Moyen Age, dimana Pemerintah Prancis membeli dan menyimpan permadani tersebut di tempat ini.

1. "Taste"-Peraba: Singa dan unicorn berada di sisi Lady. Burung kakaktua ada di tangan kiri Lady sementara Lady mengambil sesuatu (sepertinya permen) dari keranjang dayangnya. Ada seperti anjing kecil di dekat kakinya.Saya bingung kenapa bendera yang di sebelah kanan bisa berdiri, padahal unicorn-nya sedang berdiri pada dua kaki.

2. "Sight"-Penglihatan : Sang unicorn sedang melihat cermin di kaki Lady.

3. "Touch"-Peraba :  Lady, berpakaian bagus, memegang bendera dan memegang tanduk  Unicorn.

4. "Smell"-Pencium : the Lady membuat rantai bunga. Monyet di belakangnya menghirup aroma bunga mawar.

5. "Hearing"-Pendengar : Lady memainkan organ di atas meja yang ditutupi karpet turki. Singa dan Unicorn berada di masing-masing sisi organ. Hanya pada gambar ini Unicorn dan singa bertukar tempat.

6. " To My Only Desire"-A mon seul désir: Ini tidak berkaitan dengan semua indra, apakah itu berarti indra keenam? Lady memberikan (atau mengambil?) kalung ke (dari) peti perhiasan yang disiapkan dayang. Tidak diketahui apakah gambar ini memang urutan pertama atau urutan terakhir karena gambar ini tidak "setema" dengan 5 gambar lainnya. Tema utamanya tetap Lady dan Unicorn. Sepertinya yang menjadi fokus adalah kalung perhiasan Lady, kepada yang paling diingininya. Di setiap gambar, Sang Lady berganti kostum, namun kostum tersebut menunjukkan kemewahan dan keanggunan. Satu-satunya yang ada tendanya juga pada gambar ini. Apakah yang mau diberikan adalah tendanya? (perhatikan ada tulisan A mon seul désir). Ciri utama gambar abad pertengahan adalah adanya "panggung" tempat berdiri tokoh-tokoh yang digambarkan berbunga-bunga, serta latar belakang dengan cabang/dahan yang mekar. Keseluruhan permadani ini dibuat dengan gaya mille-fleurs (berarti: "ribuan bunga").

Untuk melihat silsilah keluarga De Viste, bisa ditelusuri di web keluarga mereka di sini Jean Le Viste dalam novel ini adalah generasi keempat. Pernikahan Jean dengan Geneviève memberikan tiga putri: Claude, Jeanne, and petite Geneviève. Ada banyak hal lagi tentang isi novel ini yang dibahas dalam webnya Tracy, silakan bagi yang berminat untuk menelusurinya di sini. Ini mungkin yang menarik, Tracy memberikan informasi yang tak tertulis di bukunya, namun menyediakannya di web pribadi.

Tracy dengan apik memberikan pengetahuan tentang abad pertengahan. Selain itu ia menceritakan suasana penenunan permadani kepada pembaca. Sebagai penulis kreatif ia memadukan pengetahuan lukisan, penenunan, kehidupan bangsawan, kehidupan biara. Ia memang serius dalam penulisan setiap novelnya. Untuk novel ini, ia membaca banyak buku serta mengunjungi museum dan tempat pembuatan permadani untuk mendapat feel pekerjaan itu. Mungkin karena itu juga cerita pada bagian melukis dan menenun, Tracy menuliskannya dengan mendetil. Bagi kita yang belum pernah punya pengalaman visual sebelumnya, tentunya akan sulit berimajinasi.

Terjemahan novel ini juga banyak mempertahankan istilah-istilah dalam Bahasa Prancis. Mungkin lebih baik jika ada keterangan singkat tentang apa maksud/arti istilah-istilah seperti n'est-ce pas?, millefleur. Atau itu mungkin salah satu siasat supaya pembaca harus mencari sendiri? Hmmm...boleh jadi :)

Tracy Chevalier lahir tahun 1962 and besar di Washington, DC. Ia memeroleh gelar Bachelor (in English) dari Oberlin College, Ohio. Setelah itu ia memeroleh gelar Master of Art di bidang creative writing dari the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England. Ia terkenal sebagai penulis novel fiksi sejarah. Novelnya antara lain Remarkable Creatures (2009), Burning Bright (2007), The Lady and the Unicorn (2003), Falling Angels (2001), Girl With a Pearl Earring (1999), dan The Virgin Blue (1997).
Pekerjaan utamanya ialah menulis dan menjadi mengurus rumah tangga. Ia sangat menikmati profesi sebagai penulis. Ia mengatakan: Luckily writing is a flexible profession – I decide my schedule, and I can take as long as I need – for the most part.
Selain gelar master di bidang kepenulisan dan telah menulis novel-novel best seller, ia memberikan tips menulis pada penulis pemula:
* Don’t write about what you know – write about what you’re interested in.
* Don’t write about yourself – you aren’t as interesting as you think! There’s a whole world out there to explore.
* Be very critical – your writing can always be improved. Revise, then revise again, and again.


Profile Image for Georgia  Zarkadaki .
399 reviews98 followers
April 5, 2020
Δεν θα το έλεγα καλό μυθιστόρημα αλλά ούτε κακό, ήταν απλά μια ευχάριστη ανάγνωση. Θυμάμαι ότι το κοριτσι με το σκουλαρίκι της ίδιας με είχε ενθουσιασει πολύ όταν το είχα διαβάσει στα 17 μου. Οι χαρακτήρες μου ήταν αδιάφοροι αν και μου κράτησαν καλή παρέα και ουσιαστικά δεν έγινε και τίποτα το σπουδαίο, έτσι ώστε να πω πως μου δημιούργησε έντονα συναισθήματα. Επίσης, έχει κ ένα love story που το βρίσκω ανάρμοστο. Θα του βάλω 3 αστεράκια, μόνο κ μόνο γιατί το διάβασα σε δύο μέρες απο την αρχή έως το τελος χωρίς να παραλείψω κάποια σελίδα.
Profile Image for Patricija || book.duo.
490 reviews348 followers
August 21, 2021
Ar geriau nei Mergina? Ne, nepasakyčiau. Bet irgi neblogai. Gražus, plaukiantis vertimas ir dar gražesnis autorės tekstas. Ne taip kaip Merginoje, čia man sunkiau patikėti istorinių reikalų autentiškumu - atrodo, kad mažiau gylio, istorinių žinių svorio, detalių - gi purvas, tamsa ir žmogaus niekingumas nėra viskas, kuo laikmetis išsiskiria? Visgi, skaitosi greitai ir įtraukia, gal tik retas kuris veikėjas iki galo atrodo patrauklus, tačiau visi savaip įsimintini - neabejotinas Chevalier tekstų privalumas. Susitaikyti su čia aprašomo amžiaus aktualijomis baisiai sunku, jei ne neįmanoma - tose pačiose tarpuvartėse chebra ir mylisi, ir mušasi, ir, nevyniokim, kakoja. Daug purvo, bet vat meilės menui, ne taip kaip Merginoje, mažokai - nebent pinigų skaičiavimą vadintume meile. Gal todėl ir gobelenų grožis nublanksta - jų kaina visapusiškai per didelė. Per skaudi.

Kad skaičiau nesigailiu, bet ne taip kaip Merginos, lentynoje nebepasilikčiau - per dažnai jaučiausi plaukianti paviršiumi: meno, santykių, skausmo. Ir moterų veikėjams man čia pritrūko atspalvių bei sluoksnių - žinant, kad Chevalier gali geriau, knyga mano akyse šiaip arčiau 3.5 gula, nei kad stipraus 4.
Profile Image for Ana.
622 reviews82 followers
February 6, 2018
3.5 stars. I really liked the description of the weaving process of the Flemish tapestries, starting with the drawings, the daily lives of artisans and nobles, and to imagine life in Brussels at that time. I kept this book so I could read it while visiting the city and it was great to visit some of the places described in it. This being said, I would have liked the book to have more historical information and less romance, which at times even seemed a bit cheesy...
Profile Image for Sarah B..
217 reviews17 followers
March 18, 2012
I wanted to give this book 1½ stars, but rounded down to 1. I disliked the main character, the tapestry painter Nicolas des Innocents, by page 10, but I assumed that the author would have him grow and change as a person by the end of the book -- presumably through the process of creating the remarkable tapestries that inspired the novel. Sure, it's an obvious and almost cliché plot, but I don't need a crazy original plot in order to enjoy a book. Disappointed! He is still a pig at the end of the story (that's my spoiler, btw).

There are two young women in the book: Claude, who is the daughter of the nobleman who commissioned the titular tapestries, and who is grumpy and horny and apparently would rather fool around with the slimy Nicolas des Innocents than have any worthwhile future; and Aliénor, the blind weaver's daughter, who is going to be married off to a disgusting brute whose smell literally makes her gag. Both of them have fathers who don't care about them or undervalue them, and mothers who basically care more about their virginity than their happiness.

I know life was very bad for women in the 15th century. But when I pick up a book set in that time, I expect the author to have worked around that problem and given me some way to live with the disgusting attitudes and expectations that the characters face. Again, I was disappointed here. This passage, in which the Claude's mother Geneviève de Nanterre has just discovered that Claude has been fooling around with the despicable Nicolas, gives you all you need to know about the inner life of the women in this book:

I gritted my teeth. Claude knows only too well how valuable her maidenhead is to the Le Vistes -- she must be intact for a worthy man to marry her. Her husband will inherit the Le Viste wealth one day, if not the name. The house on the rue du Four, the Château d'Arcy, the furniture, the jewels, even the tapestries Jean is having made -- all will go to Claude's husband. Jean will have chosen him carefully, and the husband in turn will expect Claude to be pious, respectful, admired, and a virgin, of course. If her father had caught her...I shivered.

Of course it would be anachronistic for Chevalier to have written women who could be self-aware or expect anything other than the treatment they got, but to reduce the whole plot to the worst aspects of their lives -- not just their subjugation to men or the reduction of their value to just whether or not they are pure, but also the ruination of unwanted pregnancy and complete lack of education other than religious study -- was just depressing. And it wasn't enlightening-depressing, like My Jim: A Novel, because it was bodice-rippy enough that I think we were supposed to be titillated and amused by all the bawdiness even as it ruined or threatened to ruin almost every female character in the novel. And contrasting the oppressive atmosphere that controlled literally every moment of Claude's life was the gallingly self-centred Nicolas, who waltzed through the novel with complete liberty, consuming women for his own pleasure and then leaving them (and their children) behind once they have served his purpose. Wow, I really hated this book! Forget the half star, this was just a 1.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for H.A. Leuschel.
Author 5 books249 followers
March 13, 2018
I've always wondered about the intricate process of creating a tapestry and in this book I felt like the author had taken me by the hand and patiently brought the creation of six tapestries to life for me, drawing me into the world of fifteen's century Paris and Brussels. Artists, cartoonists, dyers, weavers, seamstresses and financiers were all involved in the creation, months of preparations and planning were followed by months of weaving. In among this interesting setting, we're introduced to a myriad of characters brought together for the realization of these pieces of art. I had to laugh out loud when I came across this paragraph : 'He is a boaster that Paris artist. I have not been to Paris ... but I've met enough Paris men to know that I wouldn't like it there. They are too sure of their ways. Always they know best - they have the best wine, the best shoes, the best cloth, the best brushes, the best ways of making paint. Their women bear more children, their hens more eggs ... their churches are taller, their ships faster, their roads smoother.' The rivalry between Paris and Brussels was still apparent when I grew up in the Belgian capital so reading those lines made me shake my head in disbelief that these competitive streaks started sometime in the past, hundreds of years ago. But the legacy of tapestries bind them together, their contributions equal and the result often stunning and impressive.
Profile Image for Emma.
2,385 reviews811 followers
December 22, 2020
This was a reread from many years ago- apart from remembering it was about weavers I didn’t remember much else. I listened to this on audible this time and the narrator was fantastic with a wide range of great voices. It was a 5 star read before and now again with 5 stars for the narrator too.

The story is set both in Paris and Brussels where the weaving takes place. The artist commissioned is a regular lothario and sees himself as the rampant unicorn. In part we learn about his love life but what is more interesting and fascinating even is learning about the process of creating a beautiful panel of tapestry- the man who supplies blue dye (woad) stinks of piss used in its creation; the length of time it took to make a tapestry (years), the particular function of the cartoonist who must translate the art into something the weavers can understand.

A great story for historical fiction lovers.
188 reviews2 followers
November 22, 2011
This book reminded me of why I typically try to have as few preconceptions about novels as possible -- I avoid the summaries on the inside flap/back cover, rarely read reviews past the first few lines, and never examine cover art too closely. Otherwise, I start forming expectations of plot lines, style, and tone for the book, and usually end up (perhaps unfairly) disappointed when the book doesn't measure up.

All that to say, I've seen the tapestries on which this book is based, and I was really hoping for a better story than Chevalier has given them. I got to spend quite a while in the tapestries' special room in the Musée national de Moyen Age, and between the moody archival lighting, the exhibit design, and the impressive presence of the tapestries themselves, I left with a strong sense that these were artifacts of consequence.

So, to have much of the story boil down to, "Well, there's this artist, and he really wants to get into some ladies' pants. . ." was frustrating. I would have much preferred to read more about the mechanics of weaving, the symbolism of the tapestries, and the politics and economics of creating a work of art like this. The story actually had all of these elements, but the characters felt silly and shallow, and I just didn't care if the fictional cartoonist got to sleep with any of the women he chased, or if the weaver's blind daughter ended up marrying the smelly woad-dyer.

I certainly see the appeal in taking something as grand as these tapestries and giving them a frivolous backstory, but since I'd already been won over to the Fuck Yeah, Tapestries! team, I was simply not in the mood for it this time.
Profile Image for Laura.
6,828 reviews551 followers
November 23, 2010
The story of The Lady and the Unicorn is quite interesting: according to the author they were rediscovered by Prosper Merimee in 1841 and he found them in poor condition. Georges Sand became their champion, writing about them in articles, novels and her journal. In 1992 the French government bought the tapestries for the Musee de Cluny in Paris - where they still hang, restored and in a specially appointed room.
I didn't enjoy this book as much as The Girl with a Pearl Earring. And certainly Chrissie wont like this kind of book also.

The "Lady and the Unicorn" tapestry at the Cluny Museum in Paris
Profile Image for Sotiris Karaiskos.
1,121 reviews79 followers
April 20, 2019
In this book the writer returns to the very successful recipe of Girl with a Pearl Earring and writes a fantastic story about the creation of a well-known artwork. The execution of the recipe is quite different, as many different situations are woven in the story and the narrative is from different angles, but the result is just as positive, although I certainly prefer the first. The book is distinguished for the same virtues, with the author showing us in a very nice way the life at that era and puts us in the textile world, in the same way he put us before in the world of painting. Love plays a particularly important role in a quite different way, however, with sensuality being more intense, which also gives the writer the opportunity to talk about the sexual morals of the time. With these elements, we have an interesting history that has humour and sensitivity and is full of the joy of creation and the optimism that the very existence of art can bring.

Σε αυτό το βιβλίο η συγγραφέας επιστρέφει στη συνταγή του πολύ επιτυχημένου Girl with a Pearl Earring και γράφει μία φανταστική ιστορία γύρω από τη δημιουργία ενός γνωστού έργου τέχνης. Η εκτέλεση της συνταγής είναι βέβαια αρκετά διαφορετική καθώς μέσα στην ιστορία υφαίνονται πολλές διαφορετικές καταστάσεις και η αφήγηση γίνεται μέσα από διαφορετικές οπτικές γωνίες, το αποτέλεσμα, όμως, είναι εξίσου θετικό αν και σίγουρα προτιμώ πολύ περισσότερο το πρώτο. Το βιβλίο διακρίνεται για τις ίδιες αρετές, με τη συγγραφέα να μας δείχνει με έναν πολύ ωραίο τρόπο τη ζωή σε εκείνη την εποχή και μας βάζει στον κόσμο της υφαντουργίας, με τον ίδιο τρόπο που μας έβαλε πριν στον κόσμο της ζωγραφικής. Ο έρωτας παίζει ιδιαίτερα σημαντικό ρόλο με έναν αρκετά διαφορετικό τρόπο, όμως, με τον αισθησιασμό να είναι περισσότερο έντονος, κάτι που δίνει και την ευκαιρία στη συγγραφέα να μιλήσει για τα σεξουαλικά ήθη της εποχής. Με αυτά τα στοιχεία έχουμε μπροστά μας μία ενδιαφέρουσα ιστορία που διαθέτει χιούμορ μα και ευαισθησία και είναι γεμάτη από τη χαρά της δημιουργίας και την αισιοδοξία που μπορεί να φέρει η ίδια η ύπαρξη της τέχνης.
Profile Image for Ceilidh.
233 reviews567 followers
April 28, 2013
Incredibly clunky and just flat-out dull. If you've read Girl With a Pearl Earring you can pretty much track where this story's going to go. It's very predictable and the sexual subplots were laughable in places. Sorry, Ms Chevalier, but this was just not worth my time, even for the really lovely scenes describing the tapestries (and those tapestries are amazing. Seriously, google them).
Profile Image for Kelsey.
2 reviews
May 5, 2008
Tracy Chevalier
The Lady and the Unicorn
New York: Penguin, 2004
250 pp. $23.95
“The Lady and the Unicorn,” written by Tracy Chevalier, is a historical fiction novel about medieval French tapestries which depict a woman seducing a unicorn. Although not much is known about the tapestries, Tracy Chevalier has written an excellent love story based on the few known facts. Jean Le Viste, a French nobleman, commissions a Parisian painter, Nicolas des Innocents, to create a set of six tapestries. Set in France, the story travels between Paris and Brussels, where the tapestries are being weaved. Meanwhile Nicolas becomes caught between three women, yet the one he loves most is Claude, the daughter of Jean Le Viste. However they are separated by society, prohibited to even walk on the same side of the street together. Because of pressures from family, Claude undergoes an emotional transformation throughout the novel.
Being the first born, Claude plays a crucial role in securing the Le Viste name around the Court. Jean Le Viste was not born to noble status, rather he earned his way in. To maintain the family name Claude must marry into another royal family, causing her parents to shelter her from ineligible men. Nicolas des Innocents is popular with the ladies and becomes very fond of Claude during several encounters at the Le Viste household. When Jean Le Viste’s wife, Genevieve De Nanterre, sees that Claude has fallen in love with Nicolas, she does everything in her power to isolate them from each other. She states, “Claude knows only too well how valuable her maidenhead is to the Le Vistes-she must be intact for a worthy man to marry her” (Chevalier 56). But to ensure Claude will not lose her maidenhead, Genevieve De Nanterre banishes Claude to the convent until she is to become betrothed.
While at the convent Claude spends numerous months in solidarity, reflecting on her love for Nicolas. There she lives modestly, sleeping on a straw mattress surely not fit for a queen. Though joining the convent is truly her mother’s dream, not Claude’s. Genevieve De Nanterre thinks, “It would be a mercy to let me enter a convent” (51). Genevieve dreams of entering the convent someday, and to be free from her loveless marriage. When Claude is welcomed back home for her engagement party, she stubbles upon Nicolas. Nonetheless he has already noticed she is not the same person she used to be, recalling, “Her eyes were still like quinces but they were not as lively as they had been” (239). Claude’s stay at the convent had mellowed her soul and all enthusiasm had been lost.
“The Lady and the Unicorn” is an exciting tale of secret love. Chevalier does an exceptional job combining French vocabulary, French culture, and imagery to portray a reliable account of what might have been during the time period. The emotional changes Claude faces during the story sheds light on pressures felt from family and society and the different standards noblewomen are held to.
Profile Image for Pamela.
423 reviews20 followers
October 18, 2018
Here is another cleverly written historical novel about a great piece of art by the author of Girl With a Pearl Earring. This time it's the making of the famous Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. Not much is known about them in reality. They appear to have been made sometime at the end of the 15th century in Flanders and are thought to have been commissioned by a member of the La Viste family. There are six in all and they tell a story of taming the unicorn by a series of noblewomen. They also represent the senses. These are some of the most beautiful of medieval tapestries and were almost lost to history. They were re-discovered in the mid 19th century, were finally restored and now hang in the Musée de Cluny in Paris.

Tracy Chevalier has written another intricate fictional story around this artwork. She introduces us to Nicholaus de Innocentes, the artist who is a great seducer of women yet seems to have an appreciation for them also. He is commisioned to make the original painting. When he becomes enamored of Lord La Viste's daughter he winds up using her face for one of the panels. He also uses several other faces of women he meets for the other panels and there is a story behind each one. The Lord's wife, the weaver's wife, and his daughter all wind up in the famous tapestries. Each character has a story to tell and a reaction to these tapestries.

We will probably never know how or why these beautiful things were actually created, but Tracy Chevalier has given us a thoughtful and pleasant tale to think about. It is also an interesting look in the craft of medieval weaving itself.
Profile Image for Jean Marie.
198 reviews23 followers
June 24, 2017
Sometimes it's those little books that you find on the discount shelf for $2 that are the best. I really didn't know what I was getting myself into with this book, I had never heard of these tapestries before I read the book.
The books mixes the fiction and the history incredibly well so well that I found myself looking up the names to see if they were purely fiction or had actually lived. The main character, aside from the tapestries themselves, Nicolas de Innocents is the painter of the original pieces that the tapestries will be made from and the book follows his escapades from Paris and his almost romance with the man who's commissioning the tapestries daughter and then in Brussels to the daughter of the weaver of the tapesteries. It's a bouncing narrative which changes from chapter to chapter but this is one of those books in which the transistions are done so incredibly well. And this story that Chevalier that builds around these pieces of art will definitely make you look at the tapestries differently. Beautiful novel.
Profile Image for Miriam Cihodariu.
576 reviews115 followers
July 18, 2018
You can tell from the first few pages that the author really did her homework on the history of tapestries. Everything is very well-documented, from how exactly a tapestry was made to the usual way a Belgian workshop was organized and run. (The best medieval workshops for tapestries were in Belgium).

It's lovely that Tracy Chevalier thought of a way to explain the famous unicorn tapestries in Cluny and how they came to be. Her knowledge of the art world in Paris and how everything was commissioned is also impressive.

I also appreciated a sense of realism regarding the characters and their relations. The motif of the lady and the unicorn may be one of the most poetic themes in the world, but most of the times the characters in the book are decidedly prosaic. The only thing I could wish for more was that the ending was less neatly rounded off (the final twist was a bit unnecessary, in my opinion).
Profile Image for Mia Prasetya.
400 reviews251 followers
April 23, 2011
Ini yang disebut dengan a great historical romance novel!

Buku dengan latar belakang Perancis tahun 1490 bercerita tentang Nicholas yang ditugaskan bangsawan kaya untuk membuat permadani demi merayakan kenaikan pangkatnya. Tidak hanya itu novel ini juga menceritakan sepak terjang pelukis berbakat namun genitnya yang tidak ketulungan dengan berbagai wanita yang ia temui. Mulai dari anak bangsawan yang menyewanya sampai anak gadis tukang tenun permadani.

Uniknya, Lady dan Unicorn diceritakan dari sudut pandang yang berbeda-beda. Mulai dari sudut pandang Nicholas, Claude (anak Jean le Viste), Genevieve (istri Jean Le Viste), George sang penenun, Alienor (anak sang penenun), Christine (istri sang penenun). Menarik sekaligus cerdas, karena kita bisa melihat masalah dari persepsi yang berbeda-beda dengan benang merahnya proses pembuatan permadani Lady dan Unicorn.

Sudut pandang Nicholas sebagai pembuka cerita lumayan membuat saya terkaget-kaget dengan kalimatnya yang vulgar. No wonder Lady dan Unicorn masuk dalam kategori novel dewasa. Bahkan beberapa kali saya sempat mengernyitkan jidat dan berkata dalam hati,” jiahh, ini pelukis genit banget!” Karakternya yang sombong dan tukang rayu juga bikin saya ingin menendangnya!

Claude lain lagi, gadis muda yang ternyata juga tergila-gila dengan Nicholas. Karakternya kuat dan pemberontak sering membuat ibunya, Genevieve pusing kepala. Padahal Genevieve sendiri sedang bergelut dengan masalahnya sendiri, antara lain perilaku dingin sang suami sejak ia tidak berhasil memberikan anak lelaki dan keinginannya masuk biara yang pada jaman itu tidak memungkinkan, karena istri dari suami yang masih hidup tidak diperkenankan menjadi biarawati.

Setelah Perancis di tahun 1490, penulis mengajak kita berpetualang ke Brussels, tempat George dan keluarganya tinggal. Di sini kita mengenal karakter keluarga penenun dengan lebih jauh, tapi yang paling saya suka ketika Alienor mengambil alih cerita. Anak perempuan satu-satunya George yang dikisahkan buta ternyata jatuh cinta pula dengan Nicholas. Padahal ia sendiri sudah dijodohkan oleh kedua orang tuanya dengan pria lain demi ikatan bisnis.

Kelanjutan kisah Claude – Nicholas – Elianor membuat saya semakin penasaran dengan endingnya. 4 bintang untuk buku pertama karya Tracy Chevalier yang saya baca.

Setelah epilog, ada catatan dari pengarang yang ternyata mengangkat tema ini dari kisah nyata. Jean LeViste ternyata benar-benar ada. Bahkan permadaninya juga! Unicorn dengan penggambaran lima panca indera. Apabila tertarik lebih jauh dengan kisah Lady dan Unicorn, di websitenya tchevalier.com juga ada penjelasan tentang latar belakang Jean Le Viste berikut fotonya, yang menarik lagi di webnya kita juga bisa mengetahui cara pembuatan permadani yang memang diceritakan cukup detil di bukunya. I’m looking forward to read another book from Ms. Chevalier.

Oia satu lagi, buku ini saya dapat dari obral murah Gramedia seharga 10ribu saja!
Profile Image for Zorana Mitrović.
102 reviews47 followers
June 22, 2015
Роман спада у жанр драма/љубавни, међутим, сви они који очекују неку срцепарајућу љубавну причу - разочараће се.
Трејси Шевалије није писац љубавних романа, она је неко ко се заинтересује одређеним уметничким делом, занатом, историјском личношћу или догађајем, затим се посвети њеном проучавању, детаљном истраживању и прикупљању информација и на основу тога исплете љубавну/породичну причу како би читаоцима на најбољи могући начин представила предмет своје фасцинације.

За разлику од великог броја бестселер аутора који су у стању да избаце по 5-6 романа који с��и личе једни на друге - њен сваки роман је прича за себе, нека нова тема чијем се истраживању и проучавању она максимално посвети и због тога никада ниједном њеном роману не бих дала лошу оцену.
Без обзира што можда они сами по себи нису ништа спектакуларно - ја сам после сваког научила нешто ново, после сваког сам претраживала интернет у жељи да сазнам још више, видим слике и сл.

Тако је било и након читања овог романа. Још од 2007. када сам га први пут прочитала имам жељу да посетим Национални музеј средњег века у Паризу и видим тих чувених пет таписер��ја "Дама са једнорогом" начињених још у 15. веку.
На свакој таписерији је представљена Дама са једнорогом у таквом чину и окружењу да представља одређено чуло - чуло вида, слуха, укуса, мириса и додира.

Оно што доказује Трејсину изузетну маштовитост и домишљатост је чињеница да је и дан данас мистерија ко је начинио и наручио ове таписерије (зна се само да је то морао бити неко од породице Ле Вист), а она је на основу ретких информација које је успела да прикупи исплела читаву причу о једном шармантном сликару женскарошу, озлојађеној властелинској породици где свако мисли само на свој властити интерес, о једној вредној ткачкој породици где се свако труди да да свој допринос у изради ових уникатних уметничких дела које су мукотрпним радом израђиване даноноћно и то по пар година како би красиле читаве зидове племићких породица.

Роман је подељен у поглавља тако да у сваком одређени лик прича своју личну причу и борбу, а све њих повезују те таписерији и сви на неки начин имају улогу у њиховој изради или ономе што представљају.

Одличан роман за љубитеље уметности, антиквитета и старих заната.
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