ADFAS Lecture- 1066 AND ALL THAT: The Bayeux Tapestry – what does it really depict?

1066 AND ALL THAT: The Bayeux Tapestry – what does it really depict?

Martin HEARD (The Arts Society)

Martin studied History of Art at Manchester University and now devotes his time to researching mainly English eighteenth and late nineteenth century French art and architecture.

The Bayeux Tapestry is one of Europe’s best-known treasures and also one of the greatest works of art from the medieval period. Its survival almost intact over nine centuries is little short of miraculous. Embroidered on linen cloth and using woollen thread, its brilliant colours are undimmed after nearly a thousand years. It is monumental and highly intricate. It is a depiction of the events relating to the struggle for the succession to the English throne from 1064, culminating at the Battle of Hastings in October 1066. The Tapestry itself is in its own right an historical source of the first order, not only for the political crises of these years but also for the social history of eleventh-century life. However, the Tapestry and what it seems to depict still invite speculation, scholarly debate and controversy.

ADFAS Lecture- 1066 AND ALL THAT: The Bayeux Tapestry – what does it really depict?