Tuesday, February 11, 2014

La tapisserie de Bayeux

The Bayeux Tapestry is a linen cloth, embroidered with coloured woolen yarns, nearly 70 meters (230 ft) long, 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. The tapestry is now exhibited at Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in Bayeux, Normandy, France. Children of Ce2/CM1 classes have been working on a replication of this masterpiece since after winter brake. They worked in groups of two depicting the most important scenes. We talked about the presence of imaginary animals in the upper and lower part of the embroidery, some of them illustrate fables of the roman fabulist Phaedrus that we studied in class. We read about Norman ships (l'esneque), the equipment of Norman cavaliers, regalia, Halley's Comet and the way it's appearance was related to catastrophes, wars and deaths of royalties.

The main yarn colors of the embroidery are terracotta or russet, blue-green, dull gold, olive green, and blue, with small amounts of dark blue or black and sage green. Students, using acrylics and tempera paints, premixed these colors and used only them in order to achieve the uniform look of the whole piece.

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.