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Animated Bayeux Tapestry


I came across an animated version of the Bayeux Tapestry in YouTube. The tapestry, an embroidery on wool cloth, “is 231 feet long and 19.5 inches wide, and contains more than 70 scenes representing the events that led up to the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.” It depicts the last successful invasion of Britain by William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy and the defeat of King Harold, the last Anglo-Saxon King (in the video: he is the character struck in the eye with an arrow). It was made presumably for Odo, Bishop of Bayeux (1030–97) and half brother of William, circa 1080.

The Norman Conquest was a pivotal event in English history for several reasons: it linked England with continental Europe through the introduction of a Norman aristocracy, thereby lessening Scandinavian influence; created one of the most powerful monarchies in Europe and engendered a sophisticated governmental system; it changed the English language and culture; and set the stage for a rivalry with France that would continue intermittently until the 20th century.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Library Edition

The Bayeux Tapestry has been much used as a source for illustrations of daily life and appearance of 11th-century material culture in early medieval Europe (about 1100). It depicts a total of 1515 different objects, animals and persons.” Along the top and the bottom run decorative borders with figures of animals, scenes from Aesop’s fable, husbandry and the chase, as well as the main narrative.

Grove Dictionary of Art Interestingly, the tapestry also makes reference to Halley’s Comet, which made an appearance in 1066. And you got to love a good epic tapestry battle scene. 


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