Thursday, 11 July 2013

My Take on Bayeux Tapestry

I have a thing about the Bayeux Tapestry. It depicts the narrative of William the Conqueror leading up to the Battle of Hastings. I've seen it for the first time more than ten years ago, before then I didn't even know this tapestry existed - I wan't a keen historian in my younger days at school in Japan, just a thought about needing to memorise the year of events were too much effort for me. so I didn't pay much attention to the history classes. But when I saw it in the museum, I was immediately captivated. Here is a page from my travel journal of the vist to Bayeux.

The style of drawing is very simple yet they capture the essence of subjects. Paring down the subject to simplest lines and colours requires real skill, in my opinion, and that's something I strive to achieve. I visited the museum in Bayeux again two summers back, and then attempted to recreate my favourite scenes in my travel journal. I have learnt so much from copying the scenes, and it was a lot of fun, too!

So here are what I have done then, my second attempt. King Edward tells Harold to go and meet William, Duke of Normandy and tell him that England will be his when Edward passes away. Harold sails away and meets William.

While staying in Normandy, Harold aids William fighting with Conan, Duke of Brittany. Then Harold is made to swear his fidelity to William. After a while, King William dies. The fingers from heaven blesses the King who has just passed away (I just luuuve this finger depiction. It's SO Monty Pythonesque!)
Harold seizes the opportunity and declares he is the King of England. Halley's Comet appears in the sky and people talks about bad omen. Meanwhile in Normandy, William becomes furious and declares war against Harold. Everybody gets busy making boats to cross the channel.
The Bayeux Tapestry

Ships sail across the Channel and land on Pevensey. Soldiers on horses rush to Hastings to seize food (They must have been really hungry!)
The Bayeux Tapestry
Chefs cook and soldiers eat. The one in the middle at the table is Odon, William's brother and Bishop of Bayeux.
The Bayeux Tapestry - Battle of Hastings
The Battle!
The Bayeux Tapestry
An arrow is shot through Harold's eye and he dies from the wound. The last few meters of the tapestry is lost so the story ends here.

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