Reading a rug….

Ok, so I can read stained glass, I can read art, I can (now) read Korean…. Well I can also learn how to read a rug – I mean tapestry.

  • The Bayeux Tapestry is a 224.3 foot (68.4 meter) long embroidered cloth that depicts events leading up to the Norman conquest of England (and the conquest itself)
  • It’s annotated in Latin
  • Earliest known written reference is a 1476 inventory of the Bayeux Cathedral
  • the origins have been the subject of speculation and controversy
  • French legend: the tapestry was commissioned and created by Queen Matilda, William the Conqueror’s wife, and her ladies-in-waiting (there are other theories and legends about the construction, as well).
  • Plot summary: Two combatants – English Anglo-Saxon, Harold Godwineson and King of England and the Normans, William the Conqueror
    • William- title and warrior at age 19
      • Captured the English crown in 1066 at age 38 – always in battle
      • Battle of Hastings – October 4, 1066 
      • English on foot, Norman on horses
      • Harold’s death scene: arrow in his eye or spear through chest or legs cut off
      • His death causes the remaining troops to flee and resulting in a Norman victory
  • The tapestry is from a Norman view point which may result in biased or skewed depictions

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