This is a new alchemical dry-point print. Ever since visiting the Lady and the unicorn tapestries in Paris in the summer I have been pondering the mystery behind these beautiful images. I have placed the lady and the unicorn into this alchemical print which portrays the appearance of the White stone . There are many animal symbols in alchemy as there are in the famous tapestries. In this print we see the process of Distillation which is the sixth stage of alchemy , traditionally represented by a unicorn or a white Queen. According to legend, the unicorn runs tirelessly from pursuers but lies meekly on the ground when approached by a virgin. The white stone marked a process of inner change when the alchemist was able to experience and bring into an integrated harmony the feminine component of the soul. This stage is connected with silver and the moon . Around the neck of the virgin queen I have placed a necklace with the words À mon seul désir” meaning ‘my one true desire’ which is shown in the 6th lady and the unicorn tapestry .
“I had discovered, early in my researches, that the alchemists doctrine was no mere
chemical fantasy, but a philosophy they applied to the world, to the elements,
and to man himself.”- W.B. Yeats, Rosa Alchemica
The 6th tapestry(1500) ….Musee de Cluny , Paris.Five of the tapestries are commonly interpreted as depicting the five senses– taste, hearing, sight, smell, and touch. The sixth displays the words “À mon seul désir“. The tapestry’s meaning is obscure, but has been interpreted as representing love or understanding.