Nicolas des Innocents is commissioned to create a tapestry for Jean le Viste, a rich nobleman. While going over the terms, he meets Jean's young daughter, Claude who is attracted to the handsome artist. When they are caught in an indelicate situation, she is separated from him.
He goes to Brussels to supervise the preparation of the pattern for the weaving of the tapestry. There he meets the beautiful daughter of the weaver who is blind. When he returns to Paris, he tries to see Claude, but is unable. Meanwhile the weaver's daughter has been betrothed by her parents to a brutish wool dyer whom she does not love. Nicolas comes back to Brussels to see how the work is going and finds a way to help her out of her engagement.
This report prepared by Jack Goodstein
Like the author's earlier book, The Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Lady and the Unicorn tells the story of the creation of a work of art. In the late 15th century, Nicholas les Innocents is commissioned by Jean Le Viste to do a set of tapestries. Le Viste's idea is the tapestries will be of a battle. However, Genevieve des Nanterres, Le Viste's wife, convinces Nicholas to make the tapestries tell the story of the Lady who seduces the Unicorn. While at their wealthy home, Nicholas falls in love with their teenage daughter, Claude. However, he is far below her in social class, and her parents have already decided that Claude will marry a nobleman. After Nicholas designs the tapestries, they are woven by a workshop in Brussels. Nicholas goes to the workshop and meets two more women, the wife of the weaver, and their blind daughter. Nicholas uses the faces of these four women in his tapestries. His relationships with the these women, and with the tapestries, change his life.
This report prepared by Susanna Marlowe