Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Tuesday 10 January 2023

Bayeux Tapestry - copying and reconstruction

The BBC News website has two reports about modern embroiderers work in connection with the Bayeux Tapestry

The first is about a Swedish born Wisbech woman who is creating a facsimile of the embroidery and has now reached the half way point in her project. As a linked article reports she has spotted minor errors in the original 
copy which give additional insight into the making of the original.

Reading Museum has a nineteenth century embroidered facsimile of the Tapestry on display. That however has a few emendations to alter figures in the border who might have been deemed improper in late Victorian society. 

Doubtless the most discussed and famous scene in the Tapestry, the death of King Harold II, is considered in relation to both chronicle accounts and the repairs over time to the fabric and embroidery, in an article from Medievalists.net which shows how restoration has significantly altered the scene. It can be viewed at The Arrow in King Harold's Eye: The Legend That Just Won't Die

In 2019 the Smithsonian Magazine had an article about research which appears to confirm the understanding that the tapestry was designed to hang in the nave of Bayeux Cathedral on feast days along the south side west end and north side. It can be viewed at Architecture and Math Show the Bayeux Tapestry Was Designed to Decorate a Cathedral

The second report from the BBC News website is from 2014 and is about a project in Alderney that recreated the missing last portion of the original and depicts the coronation of King William I on Christmas Day 1066. The design is closely based on the original tapestry which lost this concluding portion centuries ago, long before eighteenth century antiquarians started taking an interest in it.

The report on this new embroidery can be seen at Bayeux Tapestry: The islanders who finished the final scenes

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