The Bayeux Tapestry is an embroidery from the Middle Ages that depicts the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 and preceding events.
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The tapestry is historically significant for its depictions of the events leading up to the Norman Conquest. Some of these events are not described elsewhere.
The first mention of the Bayeux Tapestry was in 1463 in the accounts of the Bayeux Cathedral. In 1476, it was listed in the inventory there. It was displayed in the cathedral on special occasions until 1842, when it was put on permanent display. It now resides in the custom-built Centre Guillaume le Conquerant gallery in Bayeux, Normandy.
The main narrative is told in pictures in the centre of the tapestry. The upper and lower borders are sometimes ornamental, but sometimes feature a subplot. The events are also described in text.
The Bayeux Tapestry cloth is irregular lengths of linen, twenty inches wide, joined together to form a 232-foot-long piece. The embroidery was done in wool in the following colours: terracotta, blue-green, golden yellow, olive green, blue, dark blue and sage green.
The ornamental embroidery is in the same style as some medieval English designs, suggesting that the tapestry was made in England.
Odo, the Bishop of Bayeux from 1030-1097, is a central figure in the stories depicted on the tapestry. Because of this, and because it ended up in his cathedral, it is presumed that the tapestry was made for him. The style of ornament also supports this theory.
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