The Bayeaux Tapestry

The Bayeaux tapestry which is really embroidered linen, not tapestry, chronicles the events that led to the crowning of William of Normandy as king of England. It is probably commissioned by Bishop Odo, William’s half-brother, and made in England in the 1070s. It is 230 feet long with fifty scenes with Latin titles indicating the action depicted.

After the Conquest, Odo became Earl of Kent and, when William was absent in Normandy, regent of England. There are 626 human figures, 190 horses or mules, 35 hounds or dogs, 506 other various animals, 37 ships, 33 buildings and 37 trees or groups of trees. Eight strips of linen were used the strips would presumably be stitched together when completed. There are five main colors, terracotta red, blue-green, sage-green, buff and blue. Less frequently used are dark green, yellow, and dark blue (almost black).  The end of the tapestry in which King William was crowned is missing.  For many years the tapestry was kept in the Bayeaux Cathedral which was Bishop Odo’s church. It was abused during the French Revolution period when it was used to cover munitions. It was salvaged and stored in a home. It’s now housed its own museum. Pic: The Bayeaux Tapestry at the Bayeaux Museum

Tomorrow, Pic of the Weekend       Rita Bay

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