More about the Bayeux Tapestry loan to the U.K.

The information on this post has since changed. see the link

The Bayeux Tapestry comes to the U.K. next year. In my last post, that you all enjoyed, judging by the feedback, I said the loan would be this year. It is actually planned for 2022. So sorry about that. I am not guilty of peddling Fake News, just happen to have made a mistake. 

Westminster Romanesque Abbey, William the Conqueror, battle of Hastings, Bayeux Tapestry
The early Romanesque Westminster Abbey, detail from the Bayeux Tapestry, c1070, wool embroidered on linen.

Anyway the loan of this masterpiece of romanesque art is coming to the U.K. in 2022 to coincide with the redevelopment of the Bayeux Museum, its home on loan from the Cathedral. It is not clear where it will be displayed yet, but the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert, both in London, appear to be front runners.

Battle of Hastings, Edward the confessor, Bayeux tapestry,
The appearance of Halley’s Comet in 1066, detail from the Bayeux Tapestry, c1070, wool embroidered on linen.

What you will enjoy looking at the real thing, missing from some of the copies, are the bawdy marginal figures. I think this marks it out as of British origin. Illuminated manuscripts, of which tapestries and stained glass derive their designs, were full of marginal figures. Continental manuscripts, especially French, were normally decorated with regular patterns, often floral, a sort of diaper effect.

Birds and exotic animals, with soldiers, in margins of Bayeux Tapetry

The marginal figures tell other stories away from the main events and often gave the illustrators free rein to entertain and challenge their readers. Like modern advertising it also gave plenty of opportunity for titillation. So if the Bayeux Tapestry was created by the Canterbury nuns, as is supposed, they were a bawdy lot!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Interesting people those Canterbury nuns


  2. says:

    Dear Gordon,

    Love your interesting writings. You have a new career now. How many followers do you have, no doubt it is growing all the time.

    Went to ring Susie and cannot find her mobile number. Wondered if she could ring me for a chat and then I will have her number.

    Wanted to know how things are going for you and any progress about the lake. You two are amazing to cope with it all.

    Love to you both Dianne xxx

    Sent from my iPad



    1. Hi Dianne. Thanks – I think you have the number now!


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