The Info List - Bayeux Tapestry

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The BAYEUX TAPESTRY or BAYEUX EMBROIDERY (English: /baɪˈjɜːr/ or US : /bɑːˈjuː/ , /beɪˈjuː/ ; French : _Tapisserie de Bayeux_, IPA: , or _La telle du conquest_; Latin : _Tapete Baiocense_) is an embroidered cloth nearly 70 metres (230 ft) long and 50 centimetres (20 in) tall, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England concerning William, Duke of Normandy , and Harold, Earl of Wessex, later King of England , and culminating in the Battle of Hastings .

According to Sylvette Lemagnen, conservator of the tapestry:

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 tapestry consists of some fifty scenes with Latin _tituli _, embroidered on linen with coloured woollen yarns. It is likely that it was commissioned by Bishop Odo , William's 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 (49°16′28″N 0°42′01″W / 49.2744°N 0.7003°W / 49.2744; -0.7003 ).

The designs on the Bayeux Tapestry are embroidered rather than woven, so that it is not technically a tapestry . Nevertheless, it has always been called a tapestry until recent years, when the more correct name " Bayeux Embroidery" has gained ground among art historians. The tapestry can be seen as the final and best known work of Anglo-Saxon art , and though made after the Conquest was both made in England and firmly in an Anglo-Saxon tradition, points now accepted by French art-historians. Such tapestries adorned both churches and wealthy houses in England, 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.


* 1 Origins * 2 Construction, design and technique * 3 Background to the events depicted * 4 Events depicted in the tapestry * 5 Latin text * 6 Recorded history * 7 Later reputation * 8 Mysteries * 9 Reliability * 10 Artistic context * 11 Replicas and continuations * 12 In popular culture * 13 Notes * 14 References * 15 Further reading * 16 External links


Bishop Odo of Bayeux Bayeux Cathedral , home of the tapestry in the middle ages and until the beginning of the 19th century

The earliest known written reference to the tapestry is a 1476 inventory of Bayeux Cathedral , but its origins have been the subject of much speculation and controversy.

French legend maintained the tapestry was commissioned and created by Queen Matilda , William the Conqueror\'s wife, and her ladies-in-waiting . Indeed, in France it is occasionally known as "La Tapisserie de la Reine Mathilde" ( Tapestry of Queen Matilda). However, scholarly analysis in the 20th century concluded it was probably commissioned by William's half-brother, Bishop Odo , who, after the Conquest, became Earl of Kent and, when William was absent in Normandy, regent of England.

The reasons for the Odo commission theory include: 1) three of the bishop's followers mentioned in the _ Domesday Book _ appear on the tapestry; 2) it was found in Bayeux Cathedral, built by Odo; and 3) it may have been commissioned at the same time as the cathedral's construction in the 1070s, possibly completed by 1077 in time for display on the cathedral's dedication.

Assuming Odo commissioned the tapestry, it was probably designed and constructed in England by Anglo-Saxon artists (Odo's main power base being by then in Kent ); the Latin text contains hints of Anglo-Saxon; other embroideries originate from England at this time; and the vegetable dyes can be found in cloth traditionally woven there. Howard B. Clarke has proposed that the designer of the tapestry was Scolland , the abbot of St Augustine\'s Abbey in Canterbury , because of his previous position as head of the scriptorium at Mont Saint-Michel (famed for its illumination), his travels to Trajan\'s Column , and his connections to Wadard and Vital, two individuals identified in the tapestry. The actual physical work of stitching was most likely undertaken by female needle workers. Anglo-Saxon needlework of the more detailed type known as Opus Anglicanum was famous across Europe. It was perhaps commissioned for display in the hall of his palace and then bequeathed to the cathedral he built, following the pattern of the documented but lost hanging of Byrhtnoth .

Alternative theories exist. Carola Hicks has suggested it could possibly have been commissioned by Edith of Wessex . Wolfgang Grape has challenged the consensus that the embroidery is Anglo-Saxon, distinguishing between Anglo-Saxon and other Northern European techniques; Medieval material authority Elizabeth Coatsworth contradicted this: "The attempt to distinguish Anglo-Saxon from other Northern European embroideries before 1100 on the grounds of technique cannot be upheld on the basis of present knowledge." George Beech suggests the tapestry was executed at the Abbey of St. Florent in the Loire Valley, and says the detailed depiction of the Breton campaign argues for additional sources in France. Andrew Bridgeford has suggested that the tapestry was actually of English design and encoded with secret messages meant to undermine Norman rule.


Detail of stem stitching and laid work.

In common with other embroidered hangings of the early medieval period , this piece is conventionally referred to as a "tapestry", although it is not a true tapestry in which the design is woven into the cloth; it is in fact an embroidery .

The Bayeux tapestry is embroidered in crewel (wool yarn ) on a tabby-woven linen ground 68.38 metres long and 0.5 metres wide (224.3 ft × 1.6 ft) and using two methods of stitching: outline or stem stitch for lettering and the outlines of figures, and couching or laid work for filling in figures. Nine linen panels, between fourteen and three metres in length, were sewn together after each was embroidered and the joins were disguised with subsequent embroidery. At the first join (start of scene 14 ) the borders do not line up properly but the technique was improved so that the later joins are practically invisible. The design involved a broad central zone with narrow decorative borders top and bottom. By inspecting the woollen threads behind the linen it is apparent all these aspects were embroidered together at a session and the awkward placing of the _tituli_ is not due to them being added later. Later generations have patched the hanging in numerous places and some of the embroidery (especially in the final scene ) has been reworked. The tapestry may well have maintained much of its original appearance—it now compares closely with a careful drawing made in 1730.

The main yarn colours are terracotta or russet, blue-green, dull gold, olive green, and blue, with small amounts of dark blue or black and sage green. Later repairs are worked in light yellow, orange, and light greens. Laid yarns are couched in place with yarn of the same or contrasting colour.

The tapestry's central zone contains most of the action, which sometimes overflows into the borders either for dramatic effect or because depictions would otherwise be very cramped (for example at Edward's death scene ). Events take place in a long series of scenes which are generally separated by highly stylised trees. However, the trees are not placed consistently and the greatest scene shift, between Harold's audience with Edward after his return to England and Edward's burial scene , is not marked in any way at all.

The _tituli_ are normally in the central zone but occasionally use the top border. The borders are otherwise mostly purely decorative and only sometimes does the decoration complement the action in the central zone. The decoration consists of birds, beasts, fish and scenes from fables, agriculture and hunting. There are frequent oblique bands separating the vignettes. There are nude figures, some of corpses from battle, others of a ribald nature. A harrow , a newly invented implement, is depicted (scene 10 ) and this is the earliest known depiction. The picture of Halley\'s Comet , which appears in the upper border (scene 32 ), is the first known picture of this comet.

The end of the tapestry has been missing from time immemorial and the final _titulus_ "Et fuga verterunt Angli" ("and the English left fleeing") is said to be "entirely spurious", added shortly before 1814 at a time of anti-English sentiment. Musset speculates the hanging was originally about 1.5 metres longer. At the last section still remaining the embroidery has been almost completely restored but this seems to have been done with at least some regard to the original stitching. The stylised tree is quite unlike any other tree in the tapestry. The start of the tapestry has also been restored but to a much lesser extent

In 1724 a linen backing cloth was sewn on comparatively crudely and, in around the year 1800, large ink numerals were written on the backing which broadly enumerate each scene and which are still commonly used for reference. The entire Bayeux Tapestry. Individual images of each scene are at Bayeux Tapestry tituli .


In a series of pictures supported by a written commentary the tapestry tells the story of the events of 1064–1066 culminating in the Battle of Hastings . The two main protagonists are Harold Godwinson , recently crowned King of England, leading the Anglo-Saxon English, and William, Duke of Normandy , leading a mainly Norman army, sometimes called the companions of William the Conqueror . The messengers with Guy , with portrayal of medieval agriculture in the border Edward the Confessor sends Harold to Normandy

William was the illegitimate son of Robert the Magnificent , Duke of Normandy , and Herleva (or Arlette), a tanner 's daughter. William became Duke of Normandy at the age of seven and was in control of Normandy by the age of nineteen. His half brother was Bishop Odo of Bayeux .

King Edward the Confessor , king of England and about sixty years old at the time the tapestry starts its narration, had no children or any clear successor. Edward's mother, Emma of Normandy , was William's great aunt. At that time succession to the English throne was not by primogeniture but was decided jointly by the king and by an assembly of nobility, the Witenagemot .

Harold Godwinson , earl of Wessex and the most powerful noble in England, was Edward's brother-in-law. The Norman chronicler William of Poitiers reported that Edward had previously determined that William would succeed him on the throne, and Harold had sworn to honour this, and yet later that Harold had claimed Edward, on his deathbed, had made him heir over William. However, other sources dispute this claim.


The tapestry begins with a panel of Edward the Confessor sending Harold to Normandy.(scene 1) Later Norman sources say that the mission was for Harold to pledge loyalty to William but the tapestry does not suggest any specific purpose. By mischance, Harold arrives at the wrong location in France and is taken prisoner by Guy, Count of Ponthieu .(scene 7) After exchanges of messages borne by mounted messengers, Harold is released to William who then invites Harold to come on a campaign against Conan II, Duke of Brittany . On the way, just outside the monastery of Mont Saint-Michel , the army become mired in quicksand and Harold saves two Norman soldiers.(scene 17) William's army chases Conan from Dol de Bretagne to Rennes , and Conan finally surrenders at Dinan .(scene 20) William gives Harold arms and armour (possibly knighting him) and Harold takes an oath on saintly relics .(scene 23) Although the writing on the tapestry explicitly states an oath is taken there is no clue as to what is being promised.

Harold leaves for home and meets again with the old king Edward, who appears to be remonstrating with him.(scene 25) Harold is in a somewhat submissive posture and seems to be in disgrace. However, possibly deliberately, the king's intentions are not made clear. The scene then shifts by about one year to when Edward has become mortally ill and the tapestry strongly suggests that, on his deathbed, he bequeaths the crown to Harold. What is probably the coronation ceremony is attended by Stigand , whose position as Archbishop of Canterbury was controversial. (scene 31) Stigand is performing a liturgical function, possibly not the crowning itself. The tapestry labels the celebrant as "Stigant Archieps" ( Stigand the archbishop) although by that time he had been excommunicated by the papacy who considered his appointment unlawful. Detail of comet

A star with a streaming tail then appears: Halley\'s Comet . Comets, in the beliefs of the Middle Ages , were a bad omen. At this point the lower border of the tapestry shows a fleet of ghost-like ships thus hinting at a future invasion. (scene 33) The news of Harold's coronation is taken to Normandy, whereupon we are told that William is ordering a fleet of ships to be built although it is Bishop Odo shown issuing the instructions.(scene 35) The invaders reach England, and land unopposed. William orders his men to find food, and a meal is cooked.(scene 43) A house is burnt, which may indicate some ravaging of the local countryside on the part of the invaders.(scene 47) News is brought to William. The Normans build a motte and bailey at Hastings to defend their position. Messengers are sent between the two armies, and William makes a speech to prepare his army for battle.(scene 51) Battle of Hastings

The Battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 less than three weeks after the Battle of Stamford Bridge but the tapestry does not provide this context. The English fight on foot behind a shield wall , whilst the Normans are on horses. Two fallen knights are named as Leofwine and Gyrth , Harold's brothers, but both armies are shown fighting bravely. Bishop Odo brandishes his baton or mace and rallies the Norman troops in battle.(scene 54) To reassure his knights that he is still alive and well, William raises his helmet to show his face. The battle becomes very bloody with troops being slaughtered and dismembered corpses littering the ground. King Harold is killed.(scene 57) This scene can be interpreted in different ways, as the name "Harold" appears above a number of knights, making it difficult to identify which character is Harold. The final remaining scene shows unarmoured English troops fleeing the battlefield. The last part of the tapestry is missing but it is thought that story contained only one additional scene.


Main article: Bayeux Tapestry tituli

_ Tituli _ are included in many scenes to point out names of people and places or to explain briefly the event being depicted. The text is in Latin but at times the style of words and spelling shows an English influence. A dark blue wool, almost black, is mostly used but towards the end of the tapestry other colours are used, sometimes for each word and other times for each letter. The complete text and English translation are displayed beside images of each scene at Bayeux Tapestry tituli .


The first reference to the tapestry is from 1476 when it was listed in an inventory of the treasures of Bayeux Cathedral. It survived the sack of Bayeux by the Huguenots in 1562; and the next certain reference is from 1724. Antoine Lancelot sent a report to the _Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres_ concerning a sketch he had received about a work concerning William the Conqueror. He had no idea whether the original was a sculpture or painting though he mooted it could be a tapestry. Despite his further enquiries he discovered no more. Montfaucon / Benoît drawing showing Harold's death

However, the Benedictine scholar Bernard de Montfaucon made more successful investigations and found that the sketch was of a small portion of a tapestry preserved at Bayeux Cathedral. In 1729 and 1730 he published drawings and a detailed description of the complete work in the first two volumes of his _Les Monuments de la Monarchie française_. The drawings were by Antoine Benoît , one of the ablest draughtsmen of that time.

The tapestry was first briefly noted in English in 1743 by William Stukeley , in his _Palaeographia Britannica_. The first detailed account in English was written by Smart Lethieullier , who was living in Paris in 1732–3, and was acquainted with Lancelot and de Montfaucon: it was not published, however, until 1767, as an appendix to Andrew Ducarel 's _Anglo-Norman Antiquities_.

During the French Revolution , in 1792, the tapestry was confiscated as public property to be used for covering military wagons. It was rescued from a wagon by a local lawyer who stored it in his house until the troubles were over, when he sent it to the city administrators for safekeeping. After the Terror the Fine Arts Commission, set up to safeguard national treasures, in 1803 required it to be removed to Paris for display at the Musée Napoléon . When Napoleon abandoned his planned invasion of Britain its propaganda value was lost and it was returned to Bayeux where the council displayed it on a winding apparatus of two cylinders. Despite scholars' concern that the tapestry was becoming damaged the council refused to return it to the Cathedral.

In 1816 the Society of Antiquaries of London commissioned its historical draughtsman, Charles Stothard , to visit Bayeux to make an accurate hand-coloured facsimile of the tapestry. His drawings were subsequently engraved by James Basire jr., and published by the Society in 1819–23. Stothard's images are still of value as a record of the tapestry as it was before 19th-century restoration.

By 1842 the tapestry was displayed in a special-purpose room in the Bibliothèque Publique. It required special storage in 1870 with the threatened invasion of Normandy in the Franco-Prussian War and again in 1939–1944 by the Ahnenerbe during the German Occupation of France and the Normandy landings . On 27 June 1944 the Gestapo took the tapestry to the Louvre and on 18 August, three days before the Wehrmacht withdrew from Paris, Himmler sent a message (intercepted by Bletchley Park ) ordering it to be taken to "a place of safety", thought to be Berlin. It was only on 22 August that the SS attempted to take possession of the tapestry by which time the Louvre was again in French hands. After the liberation of Paris , on 25 August, the tapestry was again put on public display in the Louvre, and in 1945 it was returned to Bayeux where it is exhibited at the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux.


The inventory listing of 1476 shows that the tapestry was being hung annually in Bayeux Cathedral for the week of the Feast of St. John the Baptist ; and this was still the case in 1728, although by that time the purpose was merely to air the hanging, which was otherwise stored in a chest. Clearly, the work was being well cared for. In the eighteenth century the artistry was regarded as crude or even barbarous—red and yellow multi-coloured horses upset some critics. It was thought to be unfinished because the linen was not covered with embroidery. However, its exhibition in the Louvre in 1797 caused a sensation, with _Le Moniteur _, which normally dealt with foreign affairs, reporting on it on its first two pages. It inspired a popular musical, _La Tapisserie de la Reine Mathilde_. It was because the tapestry was regarded as an antiquity rather than a work of art that in 1804 it was returned to Bayeux, where in 1823 one commentator, A. L. Léchaudé d'Anisy, reported that "there is a sort of purity in its primitive forms, especially considering the state of the arts in the eleventh century".

The tapestry was becoming a tourist attraction, with Robert Southey complaining of the need to queue to see the work. In the 1843 _Hand-book for Travellers in France_ by John Murray III , a visit was included on "Recommended Route 26 (Caen to Cherbourg via Bayeux)", and this guidebook led John Ruskin to go there; he would describe the tapestry as "the most interesting thing in its way conceivable". Charles Dickens , however, was not impressed: "It is certainly the work of amateurs; very feeble amateurs at the beginning and very heedless some of them too."

During the Second World War Heinrich Himmler coveted the work, regarding it as "important for our glorious and cultured Germanic history".


_ Harold's death. Legend above: Harold rex interfectus est_, "King Harold is killed" _ Detail of arrow Ubi unus clericus et Ælfgyva_

The tapestry contains several mysteries:

* The identification of Harold II of England in the vignette depicting his death is disputed. Some recent historians disagree with the traditional view that Harold is the figure struck in the eye with an arrow. The view that it is Harold is supported by the fact that the words _Harold Rex_ (King Harold) appear right above the figure's head. However, the arrow is a later addition following a period of repair, as can be seen by comparison with Bernard de Montfaucon 's engravings of the tapestry as it was in 1729, in which the arrow is absent (see illustration above). However, needle holes in the linen do suggest that something had originally been in the place of the arrow, though it may have been a lance rather than an arrow. A figure is slain with a sword in the subsequent plate, and the phrase above the figure refers to Harold's death (_interfectus est_, "he is slain"). This would appear to be more consistent with the labeling used elsewhere in the work. It was common medieval iconography that a perjurer was to die with a weapon through the eye. Therefore, the tapestry might be said to emphasize William's rightful claim to the throne by depicting Harold as an oath breaker. Whether he actually died in this way remains a mystery and is much debated. * There is a panel with what appears to be a clergyman touching or possibly striking a woman's face. No one knows the significance of this scene or the caption above it: _ubi unus clericus et Ælfgyva_ ("where a certain cleric and Ælfgyva"), where Ælfgyva is the Latinised spelling of Ælfgifu , a popular Anglo-Saxon woman's name (literally "elf-gift"). The use of the grapheme Æ shows familiarity with English spelling. There are two naked male figures in the border below this figure; the one directly below the figure is squatting and displaying genitalia , a scene that was frequently censored in former reproductions. However, similar naked figures appear elsewhere in the lower border where there seems to be no connection at all with the main action. Harold had a younger sister named Ælfgifu (her name is spelt Alveva in Domesday) who was possibly promised to William by Harold or even betrothed to him, but she died c. 1066, prior to the invasion. * At least two panels of the tapestry are missing, perhaps even another 6.4 m (7.0 yd) worth. This missing area would probably have included William's coronation.


The Bayeux Tapestry was probably commissioned by the House of Normandy and essentially depicts a Norman viewpoint. However, Harold is shown as brave and his soldiers are not belittled. Throughout, William is described as "dux" (duke) whereas Harold, also called dux up to his coronation, is subsequently called "rex" (king). The fact that the narrative extensively covers Harold's activities in Normandy (in 1064) indicates that the intention was to show a strong relationship between that expedition and the Norman Conquest starting two years later. It is for this reason that the tapestry is generally seen by modern scholars as an apologia for the Norman Conquest. Coronation of Harold

The tapestry's narration seems to place stress on Harold's oath to William although its rationale is not made clear. Norman sources claimed that the English succession was being pledged to William but English sources gave varied accounts. Today it is thought the Norman sources are to be preferred. Both the tapestry and Norman sources named Stigand, the excommunicated Archbishop of Canterbury, as the man who crowned Harold, possibly to discredit Harold's kingship; English sources suggested that he was crowned by Ealdred , Archbishop of York and favoured by the papacy, making Harold's position as legitimate king more secure. Contemporary scholarship has not decided the matter although it is generally thought Ealdred performed the coronation.

While political propaganda or personal emphasis may have somewhat distorted the historical accuracy of the story, the Bayeux tapestry presents a unique visual document of medieval arms, apparel, and other objects unlike any other artifact surviving from this period. There is no attempt at continuity between scenes either for individuals' appearance or clothing. The knights carry shields, but show no system of hereditary coats of arms —the beginnings of modern heraldic structure were in place, but would not become standard until the middle of the 12th century. It has been noted that the warriors are depicted fighting with bare hands, while other sources indicate the general use of gloves in battle and hunt.


Tapestry fragments have been found in Scandinavia dating from the ninth century and it is thought that Norman and Anglo-Saxon embroidery developed from this sort of work. Examples are to be found in the grave goods of the Oseberg ship and the Överhogdal tapestries .

A monastic text from Ely , the _ Liber Eliensis _, mentions a woven narrative wall-hanging commemorating the deeds of Byrhtnoth , killed in 991. Wall-hangings were common by the tenth century with English and Norman texts particularly commending the skill of Anglo-Saxon seamstresses. Mural paintings imitating draperies still exist in France and Italy and there are twelfth century mentions of other wall-hangings in Normandy and France. A poem by Baldric of Dol might even be describing the Bayeux Tapestry itself. The Bayeux Tapestry was therefore not unique at the time it was created: rather it is remarkable for being the sole surviving example of medieval narrative needlework.


Start of the Bayeux Tapestry replica in Reading Museum

There are a number of replicas of the Bayeux Tapestry in existence. Through the collaboration of William Morris with textile manufacturer Thomas Wardle , Wardle's wife Elizabeth, who was an accomplished seamstress, embarked on creating a reproduction in 1885. She organised some 37 women in her _Leek School of Art Embroidery_ to collaborate working from a full-scale water-colour facsimile drawing provided by the South Kensington Museum . The full-size replica was finished in 1886 and is now exhibited in the Museum of Reading in Reading, Berkshire , England. The naked figure in the original tapestry (in the border below the Ælfgyva figure) is depicted wearing a brief garment because the drawing which was worked from was similarly bowdlerised.

Ray Dugan of University of Waterloo , Ontario , Canada, completed a stitched replica in 1996. Since its completion, it has been displayed in various museums and galleries in Canada and the United States.

In 2000, the Danish-based Bayeux Group, part of the Viking Group Lindholm Høje , began making an accurate replica of the Bayeux Tapestry, using the original sewing techniques. The replica was completed in June 2014 and went on permanent exhibition at Børglum Abbey in May 2015.

Dr. E. D. Wheeler, former judge and former dean at Oglethorpe University , commissioned a hand-painted, full-size replica of the Bayeux Tapestry and donated it to the University of West Georgia in Carrollton in 1994. In 2014, the replica was acquired by the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega . Sections of the 1066 Medieval Mosaic re-creation in New Zealand

An approximately half scale mosaic version of the Bayeux Tapestry was formerly on display at Geraldine, New Zealand . It was made up of 1.5 million 7 mm2 pieces of spring steel – off-cuts from patterning disks of knitting machines – and was created by Michael Linton over a period of twenty years from 1979. The work was in 32 sections, and included a hypothetical reconstruction of the missing final section leading up to William the Conqueror's coronation at Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day, 1066.

Jason Welch, a woodcarver from North Creake , Norfolk, England, created a replica of the Tapestry between 2011 and 2014 in carved and painted wooden relief on 25 five-foot planks. He undertook the project to help cope with the grief of losing his 16-year-old son.

Other modern artists have attempted to complete the work by creating panels depicting subsequent events up to William's coronation, though the actual content of the missing panels is unknown. In 1997, the embroidery artist Jan Messent completed a reconstruction showing William accepting the surrender of English nobles at Berkhamsted (_Beorcham_), Hertfordshire, and his coronation. In early 2013, 416 residents of Alderney in the Channel Islands finished a continuation including William's coronation and the building of the Tower of London .


Street art in Bayeux referencing the Tapestry

Because it resembles a modern comic strip or movie storyboard , is widely recognised, and is so distinctive in its artistic style, the Bayeux Tapestry has frequently been used or reimagined in a variety of different popular culture contexts. George Wingfield Digby wrote in 1957:

It was designed to tell a story to a largely illiterate public; it is like a strip cartoon, racy, emphatic, colourful, with a good deal of blood and thunder and some ribaldry.

It has been cited by Scott McCloud in _ Understanding Comics _ as an example of early narrative art ; and Bryan Talbot , a British comic book artist, has called it "the first known British comic strip ".

It has inspired many modern political and other cartoons , including:

* John Hassall 's satirical pastiche _Ye Berlyn Tapestrie_, published in 1915, which tells the story of the German invasion of Belgium in August 1914 * Rea Irvin 's cover for the _New Yorker _ magazine of 15 July 1944 marking D-Day * George Gale 's pastiche chronicling the saga leading up to Britain's entry into the European Economic Community , published across six pages in _ The Times '_s "Europa" supplement on 1 January 1973

The tapestry has also inspired modern embroideries, notably:

* The Overlord embroidery commemorating the Normandy landings invasion, now at Portsmouth * The Prestonpans Tapestry , which chronicles the events surrounding the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745

A number of films have used sections of the tapestry in their opening credits or closing titles, including Disney 's _Bedknobs and Broomsticks _, Anthony Mann's _El Cid _, Zeffirelli's _ Hamlet _, Frank Cassenti's _ La Chanson de Roland _, Kevin Reynolds' _Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves _, and Richard Fleischer's _The Vikings _.

The design and embroidery of the tapestry form one of the narrative strands of Marta Morazzoni 's 1988 novella _The Invention of Truth_.

The tapestry is referenced in Tony Kushner 's play _Angels in America _. The apocryphal account of Queen Matilda's creation of the tapestry is used, perhaps in order to demonstrate that Louis, one of the main characters, holds himself to mythological standards.


* ^ 5 January 1066. * ^ 6 January 1066. * ^ The first appearance of the comet would have been around 24 April 1066, nearly four months after Harold's coronation. * ^ Possibly about Harold's victory in the Battle of Stamford Bridge , although the Tapestry does not specify this. * ^ This reflected the military reality. * ^ Clerics were not supposed to shed blood, hence Odo has no sword. Rather than just praying for the Norman knights, however, which ought to have been his role, Odo seems militarily active. * ^ A situation that has not since improved. * ^ See Leek, Staffordshire and Art needlework .


* ^ Caviness, Madeline H. (2001). _Reframing Medieval Art: Difference, Margins, Boundaries_. Medford, MA: Tufts University – via http://dca.lib.tufts.edu/caviness/. Yet in modern times, this piece of eleventh-century women's work has been wrongly called a "tapestry," a term that is readily associated with the large male-dominated workshops of northern Europe in the late middle ages that produced images woven into the fabric. The correct term "Bayeux Embroidery" evokes the manual work of women, probably the very reason that previous attempts to call this famous work a Broderie have not prevailed. * ^ Koslin, Desirée (1990). "Turning Time in the Bayeux Embroidery". _Textile & Text_. 13: 28–29. * ^ Bertrand, Simone (1966). _La tapisserie de Bayeux_. La Pierre-qui-Vire: Zodiaque. p. 23. et combien pauvre alors ce nom de broderie nous apparaît-il! * ^ Sylvette Lemagnen, Preface, p. 9; Musset, Lucien; Rex, Richard (translator); (1 November 2005) . _La Tapisserie de Bayeux: œuvre d'art et document historique_ (annotated edition) (First ed.). Woodbridge, United Kingdom: Boydell & Brewer Ltd. p. 272. ISBN 978-1-84383-163-1 . * ^ Saul, Nigel. " Bayeux Tapestry". _A Companion to Medieval England_. Stroud, UK: Tempus. pp. 32–33. ISBN 0-7524-2969-8 * ^ Golden Age, 195; Dodwell (1982), 138–39. However a number of fringe theories persist – see the article. See also Henderson, pp. 168–77 for an extended appreciation. * ^ Fowke, Frank Rede. _The Bayeux Tapestry – A History and Description_, London: G. Bell & sons, 1913. * ^ Sir Frank Stenton (ed) et al, _The Bayeux Tapestry. A comprehensive survey_ London: Phaidon, 1957 revised 1965. * ^ UNESCO World Heritage nomination form, in English and French. Word document. Published 9 May 2006. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Wilson, David M.: _The Bayeux Tapestry_, Thames and Hudson, 1985, pp. 201–27 * ^ _A_ _B_ Coatsworth, Elizabeth: "Stitches in Time: Establishing a History of Anglo-Saxon Embroidery", in Robin Netherton and Gale R. Owen-Crocker, editors, _Medieval Clothing and Textiles_, Volume 1, Woodbridge, 2005, pp. 1–27. * ^ Clarke, Howard B. (2013). "The Identity of the Designer of the Bayeux Tapestry". _Anglo-Norman Studies_. 35. * ^ "Designer of the Bayeux Tapestry identified". Medievalists.net. Retrieved 30 October 2013. * ^ Dodwell (1982), pp. 134–36 * ^ "New Contender for The Bayeux Tapestry?", from the BBC, 22 May 2006. _The Bayeux Tapestry: The Life Story of a Masterpiece_, by Carola Hicks (2006). ISBN 0-7011-7463-3 * ^ See Grape, Wolfgang, _The Bayeux Tapestry: Monument to a Norman Triumph_, Prestel Publishing, 3791313657 * ^ "Oxford Bibliographies Online – Author (Contributor: Elizabeth Coatsworth)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 4 August 2013. * ^ Coatsworth, "Stitches in Time: Establishing a History of Anglo-Saxon Embroidery", p. 26. * ^ Beech, George: _Was the Bayeux Tapestry Made in France?: The Case for St. Florent of Saumur_. (The New Middle Ages), New York, Palgrave Macmillan 1995; reviewed in Robin Netherton and Gale R. Owen-Crocker, editors, _Medieval Clothing and Textiles_, Volume 2, Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK, and Rochester, New York, the Boydell Press, 2006, ISBN 1-84383-203-8 * ^ Bridgeford, Andrew, _1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry_, Walker & Company, 2005. ISBN 1-84115-040-1 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ _H_ _I_ _J_ _K_ _L_ _M_ _N_ _O_ _P_ _Q_ _R_ _S_ _T_ _U_ _V_ _W_ _X_ _Y_ _Z_ _AA_ _AB_ Hicks, Carola (2006). _The Bayeux Tapestry. The Life Story of a Masterpiece_. Chatto and Windus. ISBN 0-7011-7463-3 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ _H_ _I_ _J_ _K_ _L_ _M_ _N_ _O_ _P_ _Q_ _R_ _S_ _T_ _U_ _V_ _W_ _X_ _Y_ _Z_ _AA_ Musset, Lucien (2005). _The Bayeux Tapestry_. Boydell Press. ISBN 1-84383-163-5 . * ^ William of Poitiers: _Gesta Willelmi ducis Normannorum et regis Anglorum_, c.1071. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ Bertrand, Simone (1965). "The History of the Tapestry". In Frank Stenton. _The Bayeux Tapestry_. Phaedon Press. * ^ Brown 1988, p. 47. * ^ Brown 1988, p. 48. * ^ Brown 1988, p. 153. * ^ Foys, Martin (2009). _Pulling the Arrow Out: The Legend of Harold's Death and the Bayeux Tapestry_. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell and Brewer. pp. 158–75. ISBN 978-1-84383-470-0 . * ^ Mason, Emmas. "The House of Godwin". _The History of a Dynasty_. ISBN 1852853891 * ^ Bates, David (2004). "William I". _Oxford Dictionary of National Biography_. Oxford University Press. doi :10.1093/ref:odnb/29448 . (subscription or UK public library membership required) * ^ William of Poitiers: _Gesta Willelmi ducis Normannorum et regis Anglorum_, c.1071. Orderic Vitalis _Historia Ecclesiastica_, c.1123-1131. * ^ Florence of Worcester / John of Worcester _Chronicon ex Chronicis_ completed c.1140. * ^ Gibbs-Smith, Charles (1965). "Notes on the Plates". In Frank Stenton. _The Bayeux Tapestry_. Phaedon Press. * ^ Cowdrey, H. E. J. (2004). " Stigand (d. 1072)". _Oxford Dictionary of National Biography_. Oxford University Press. doi :10.1093/ref:odnb/26523 . (subscription or UK public library membership required) * ^ Wingfield Digby, George (1965). "Technique and Production". In Stenton, Frank . _The Bayeux Tapestry_ (2nd ed.). Phaidon Press. pp. 37–55 (37, 45–48). * ^ "Britain\'s Bayeux Tapestry at the Museum of Reading". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2011. * ^ "Ray Dugan\'s Bayeux Tapestry". Dugansbayeuxtapestry.com. Retrieved 30 April 2012. * ^ " Bayeux Tapestry, topic of seminar". Newsrelease.uwaterloo.ca. 15 March 2001. Retrieved 30 April 2012. * ^ "Vikingerne kommer!" (in Danish). Kristeligt Dagblad. 30 November 2005. * ^ "Nu hænger Bayeux-tapetet i en hestestald i Vendsyssel" . Politiken . 8 September 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2017. * ^ Linton, Michael. "The Medieval Mosaic The Recreation of the Bayeux Tapestry, as a 34 metre Medieval Mosaic Masterpiece.". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2011. * ^ "A Medieval Mosaic (Medieval Mosaic)". 1066. Retrieved 7 February 2014. * ^ Hall, John (12 January 2014). "Grandfather hand-carved 230 FOOT wooden scale model of Bayeux Tapestry to help get over the death of his teenage son (despite missing three fingers on his left hand)". _Mail Online_. Retrieved 11 June 2016. * ^ " Berkhamsted Castle". _ Berkhamsted Local History Society_. Retrieved 9 February 2013. * ^ "Invasion of England, Submission to William" (PDF). _Castle Panels_. Berkhamsted Castle. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2013. (discussed in "Castle Panels". 2014. Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014. ) * ^ Messant, Jan (1999). _ Bayeux Tapestry Embroiderers' Story_. Thirsk, UK: Madeira Threads (UK) Ltd. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-9516348-5-1 .

* ^ " Bayeux Tapestry ending made in Alderney". _BBC News_. 9 February 2013. * ^ Wingfield Digby, "Technique and Production", p. 37. * ^ McCloud 1993. _ Understanding Comics _ pp. 11–14 * ^ The History of the British Comic, Bryan Talbot , _The Guardian Guide_, 8 September 2007, p. 5. * ^ Hassall, John (2014) . _Ye Berlyn Tapestrie_. Oxford: Bodleian Library. ISBN 978-1-85124-416-4 . * ^ "The New Yorker". Condé Nast. 15 July 1944. Retrieved 30 October 2014. * ^ Steven, Alasdair (24 September 2003). "George Gale: Obituary". _The Scotsman_. Retrieved 3 November 2014. * ^ "Re-embroidering the Bayeux Tapestry in Film and Media: The Flip Side of History in Opening and End Title Sequences" (PDF). Richard Burt, University of Florida. 18 August 2007. Archived from the original on 8 September 2006. Retrieved 31 August 2007. * ^ SparkNotes Editors. "SparkNote on Angels in America". _SparkNotes.com_. SparkNotes LLC. Retrieved 30 October 2014. Louis's problem is exacerbated by his tendency towards abstraction and his unreasonably high standards for himself. In Scene Three, he tells Emily about La Reine Mathilde, who supposedly created the Bayeux Tapestry. Louis describes La Reine's unceasing devotion to William the Conqueror and laments his own comparative lack of devotion. But as critic Allen J. Frantzen has pointed out, this popular story about Mathilde and the tapestry is wrong—it was actually created in England decades after the conquest. Louis, then, is holding himself to a mythological standard of loyalty, and he curses himself based on a positively unreal example. This is part of a larger pattern of excessive guilt and harshness toward himself, which, paradoxically, prevents him from judging his own weaknesses accurately and trying to correct them. Because no one could possibly live up to Mathilde's example, Louis initially justifies his moral failure. Later, in Perestroika, he will arrive at a more genuine remorse and an honest understanding of what he has done. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link )

* "Dodwell (1982)": Dodwell, C. R., _Anglo-Saxon Art, A New Perspective_, 1982, Manchester UP, ISBN 0-7190-0926-X * "Golden Age": Backhouse, Janet, Turner, D.H., and Webster, Leslie, eds.; _The Golden Age of Anglo-Saxon Art, 966–1066_, 1984, British Museum Publications Ltd, ISBN 0-7141-0532-5 * Henderson, George. _Early Medieval_, 1972, rev. 1977, Penguin.


* Bernstein, David J. "The Mystery of Bayeux Tapestry" Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1986. ISBN 0-297-78928-7 * Bloch, Howard. _A Needle in the Right Hand of God: The Norman Conquest of 1066 and the Making and Meaning of the Bayeux Tapestry._ Random House, 2006. ISBN 978-1-4000-6549-3 * Bridgeford, Andrew. _1066 : the hidden history in the Bayeux Tapestry_ Walker & Company, 2005. ISBN 978-0-8027-7742-3 * Brown, Shirley Ann (1988). _The Bayeux Tapestry: History and Bibliography_. Woodbridge: Boydell. ISBN 978-0-85115-509-8 . * Burt, Richard, "Loose Threads: Weaving Around Women in the Bayeux Tapestry and Cinema", in Medieval Film, ed. Anke Bernau and Bettina Bildhauer (Manchester: Manchester UP, 2007). * Campbell, M. W. "Aelfgyva : The Mysterious Lady of the Bayeux Tapestry" _Annales de Normandie_, V. 34, n. 2, pp. 127–45. (http://www.persee.fr/doc/annor_0003-4134_1984_num_34_2_5553) * Foys, Martin K. _ Bayeux Tapestry Digital Edition_. Individual licence ed; CD-ROM, 2003. On-line version, 2013: http://www.sd-editions.com/bayeux/index.html * Foys, Martin K., Overbey, Karen Eileen Overbey and Terkla, Dan (eds.) _The Bayeux Tapestry: New Interpretations_, Boydell and Brewer, 2009, ISBN 978-1783271245 . * Hicks, Carola (2006). _The Bayeux Tapestry: The Life Story of a Masterpiece_. London: Chatto & Windus. ISBN 978-0-7011-7463-7 . * Jones, Chas. _"The Yorkshire Preface to the Bayeux Tapestry" The Events of September 1066 – Depicted In a Community Tapestry_, Writers Print Shop, first edition (2 October 2005). ISBN 978-1-904623-37-3 * Pastan, Elizabeth Carson, and Stephen White, with Kate Gilbert. _The Bayeux Tapestry and its Contexts: A Reassessment_. Boydell Press, 2014, ISBN 978-1-84383-941-5 . * Rud, Mogens, "The Bayeux Tapestry and the Battle of Hastings 1066", Christian Eilers Publishers, Copenhagen 1992; contains full colour photographs and explanatory text * Werckmeister, Otto Karl. "The Political Ideology of the Bayeux Tapestry." Studi Medievali, 3rd Series 17, no. 2 (1976): 535–595. * Wilson, David McKenzie (ed.). _The Bayeux Tapestry: the Complete Tapestry in Color_, Rev. ed. New York: Thames border:solid #aaa 1px">

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