The Bridge - Page 28

1066 Art News: The Bayeux Tapestry

The Bayeux Tapestry is a phenomenal, exquisite embroidered cloth which documents the historic events of the Normandy conquest of England. At two hundred and thirty feet long and twenty inches wide there is ample space to depict the event across fifty scenes. Although spoken of as a tapestry, the medieval techniques used in fact mean it should be classified as an embroidery.

Written in a dark blue Latin it is fully accessible to the masses of Britain, a requirement specifically requested by Bishop Odo who commissioned the work. Although the glory of the work is marvelled upon by many the controversy of Bishop Odo’s military connections, being the first religious figure to fight in battle, and condone violence, has been frowned upon. Being William the Conqueror’s half-brother has further added to the controversy of his commission with many analysing the commentary, sewn into the work alongside the ‘comic-strip’ sequence of events, for bias. Bishop Odo is yet to comment on the specific criticisms being directed towards his morality.

However, not all people are worrying about the mix of religion and warfare. Sylvette Lemagnen, who is proudly protecting the tapestry declares, “The Bayeux tapestry is one of the supreme achievements of the Norman times ... its exceptional length, the harmony and freshness of its colours, its exquisite workmanship, and the genius of its guiding spirit combine to make it endlessly fascinating”.

Dates for public display are yet to be announced but be sure to keep an eye on the 1066 Art News events page for these.

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