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More About The Tapestries

Tapestries were used as decoration and for warmth. With the invention of a new type of loom in the 14th century, tapestries became a common and popular art form. Part of the weaving was done by hand in a process that is similar to darning. Most tapestries were created in "luxury" workshops, where items were produced for the nobility to commemorate important events or depict favorite stories. Tapestries were a common way of telling stories from both mythology and daily life.

The Bayeux Tapestry
The Bayeux tapestry, dating from the 11th century, tells the story of an important battle, the conquest of England by William the Conqueror and the Normans in 1066. It is not really a tapestry, but a strip of linen cloth embroidered with woollen thread. It is 50 centimeters high and over 70 meters in length. Most art from this period is of a religious nature, but this astonishing record of history, a long ribbon of cloth, depicts secular historical events. The end of the cloth is missing and therefore we can only conjecture about the way the story ends.

The Bayeux offers the first illustration of a horse being used as a work animal. Much controversy surrounds the commissioning and dating of this remarkable artifact.

Unicorn Tapestries
Another famous set of tapestries is known as the Unicorn series. They tell the story of the hunt and capture of a unicorn. There are seven panels, although there is controversy as to whether they were originally intended as a set. Hidden in the tapestries are clues to the original ownership.

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The Middle Ages is inspired by programs from The Western Tradition.

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