The Baveux Tapestry
The Baveux Tapestry is an ancient tapestry that depicts events leading into the 1066 invasion of Normans in England. It is a tapestry made of embroidered cloth stretching 20 inches by 230 feet long. There are also Latin annotations written on the tapestry itself. This artful tapestry is displayed at a special museum located in Baveux, in Normandy France. There is also a replica of the tapestry being displayed at Reading in Berkshire, England.
This ancient tapestry's origin is first reported from a written reference from a 1476 inventory of objects contained at the Baveux Cathedral. Although the origins of the said tapestry is still clouded in mystery for lack of actual evidence, it is said to have been commissioned and created by Queen Matilda who was William the Conqueror's wife. It is also said that the Queen's ladies in waiting also had a hand in creating this marvelous piece of tapestry.
But there is also some research that shows the tapestry as being commissioned by Bishop Odo who was William's half-brother. The reason that the early reference to the existence of the Bayeux Tapestry coming from the Bayeux Cathedral which was built by Bishop Odo. Under Odo, the tapestry was said to be done by Anglo Saxon artists and made in England.
The tapestry was rediscovered sometime in the late 17th century in Bayeux where it was being displayed once every year during the Feast of the Relics. Sometime in 1803, it was seized by Napoleon and was transported to Paris. Napoleon wanted to use the Bayeux Tapestry as a source of inspiration for his plans to attack England. But when the invasion plan was canceled, the tapestry was then returned back to Bayeux.
After the tapestry was returned, the townspeople rolled up the tapestry and then stored it like a scroll. It was then seized by the Ahnenerbe where the tapestry then went through World War II in the basement of the Louvre in France. The tapestry is now protected while on display in a museum. It is being stored in a dark room equipped with special lighting and behind sealed glass in order to minimize certain environmental damage that can be caused by light and air.
The Bayeux Tapestry is embroidered in wool yarn on a tabby woven linen ground. Two methods of stitching are used- stem stitch for the lettering and figure outlines and couching for filling the figures. The main yarn colors used are terracotta, dull gold, blue green, olive green and blue. There is also a bit of dark blue, black and sage green used on some portions of the tapestry.
What makes the Bayeux Tapestry so interesting is that, this artwork contains some mysterious entries or figures that seem to go against accepted beliefs. But this may be due to the political propaganda and distorted views that seem to be displayed on some of the portions of the tapestry.
Notwithstanding the mysteries and the controversies, the Bayeux Tapestry is truly considered as a wonderful work of art.
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