The Bayeux Tapestry and the Norman Invasion.

Printed: 1973

Publisher: The Folio Society. London

Dimensions 20 × 26 × 2 cm
Language

Language: English

Size (cminches): 20 x 26 x 2

£19.00
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Item information

Description

Red cloth spine with gilt title. Navy mottled boards with gilt title and image of Harold on the throne on the front board.

F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feel and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.

I really liked this book and learnt a lot from it – Martin Frost

The Bayeux Tapestry  is an embroidered cloth nearly 70 metres (230 ft) long and 50 centimetres (20 in) tall that depicts the events leading up to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, led by William, Duke of Normandy challenging Harold II, King of England, and culminating in the Battle of Hastings. It is thought to date to the 11th century, within a few years after the battle. It tells the story from the point of view of the conquering Normans but is now widely accepted to have been made in England.

According to Sylvette Lemagnen, conservator of the tapestry, in her 2005 book La Tapisserie de Bayeux:

The Bayeux tapestry is one of the supreme achievements of the Norman Romanesque …. Its survival almost intact over nine centuries is little short of miraculous … 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.

The cloth consists of some seventy scenes, many with Latin tituli, embroidered on linen with coloured woollen yarns. It is likely that it was commissioned by Bishop Odo, William’s maternal half-brother, and made in England – not Bayeux – in the 1070s. In 1729, the hanging was rediscovered by scholars at a time when it was being displayed annually in Bayeux Cathedral. The tapestry is now exhibited at the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in Bayeux, Normandy, France.

The designs on the Bayeux Tapestry are embroidered rather than in a tapestry weave, so that it does not meet narrower definitions of a tapestry.  Nevertheless, it has always been referred to as a tapestry until recent years when the name “Bayeux Embroidery” has gained ground among certain art historians. It can be seen as a rare example of secular Romanesque art. Tapestries adorned both churches and wealthy houses in Medieval Western Europe, though at 0.5 by 68.38 metres (1.6 by 224.3 ft, and apparently incomplete) the Bayeux Tapestry is exceptionally large. Only the figures and decoration are embroidered on a background left plain, which shows the subject very clearly and was necessary to cover large areas.

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