À Mon Seul Désir

DSC02321I have two framed woolwork needlepoint tapestries for the tulip bedroom. Mille-fleurs,  mythic animals, unicorns, symbolism

These simplified but still very evocative pictures were inspired by the six tapestries woven around 1500 and now restored and displayed at the Musée national du Moyen Âge (former Musée de Cluny) in Paris.

I was aware of these iconic images and they have been used and referenced many times.

For a simple overview see- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lady_and_the_Unicorn. The first five tapestries are titled Taste, Hearing,Sight, Smell  & Touch

I have “Taste” (naturally!) and “Hearing” (which is more than Trev is demonstrating at present) and I picked up these in the early days of picking a palette for the tulip bedroom.

The sixth tapestry ” À Mon Seul Désir” has had a number of interpretations including, “my heart or soul’s only desire” . As my sole desire right now is to finish the b****y French house, it is very apt.

The blue reminds me of a Campagne sky, fading to turquoise on the horizon- as pictures on the photo wallpaper behind this blog. The red is soft carmine. Both colours are quintessentially French to me.

Originally made from cochineal, this is a light shade of the red known as crimson lake and found on every art student’s palette until the late 20th century (don’t get me started on the general dumbing down of Art  College courses).

In a principally very plain “old white” room I will have a single accent wall behind the bed in this wallpaper under a deep area of exposed original stone. Parts of this room are 14th century

shoppingsept13 108

The paper has a soft hand printed look and references the  “tree of life” image found in many ancient cultures and a classic tapestry/embroidery motif

Crown Paradise Bird Flamenco RED Floral Feature Wallpaper M0738 | eBay

In red on an creamy white ground,  I have a smaller “toile” version of this classic motif on the big heavy hand made curtains posted recently which I have painstakingly divided for the little window in this bedroom https://coteetcampagne.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/the-thursday-three-toile-de-jouy-and-vintage-frames/

Wallpaper is called “Paradise” how apt; to each his own …………………………….


About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Antique and Vintage finds, Art, design and inspiration blog, Renovation and restoration diary- France and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to À Mon Seul Désir

  1. darpaws says:

    Beautiful! And I love that wallpaper. The Unicorn Tapestries hang in the Cloisters in NYC are similar in theme and come from the same region at the same time. I’m lucky enough to have seen them and they are stunning! I must make a trip to Paris to see these. Craftsmanship, in any form, must be admired.


    • Absolutely. I love the way these iconic images and forms still resonate. Such richness and depth

      The sinuous “tree of life” image with stylised flowers, symbolic beasts and birds is a big favourite of mine and many of my antique embroideries feature it. Years ago I saw a very ancient Persian needlework picture of birds and branches with the exact same feel.


  2. I love the tapestries. And the story is so interesting. I read the book. Everything you blog is so intriguing!

    Liked by 1 person

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