Monday, May 7, 2012

Bayeux Tapestry

The Bayeux Tapestry is a 20 inch by 230 foot-long embroidered cloth depicting the events of the Norman Invasion of 1066 including those events leading up to the invasion starting in 1064.  The Museum of Reading has an excellent website with scene by scene photos of the tapestry and descriptions of what is happening in each scene.  Although there seem to be several theories as to who commissioned the work, the two most popular sources are Bishop Odo, William the Conqueror's half brother or William's wife Queen Matilda and her ladies-in-waiting.

This will probably be my last post about the Middle Ages for a while.  My eldest daughter has finished this section of HOW II and has moved on to China but I wanted to share a little about this particular project before moving on.  And although some of my students groaned a bit when we began the project, they all worked to complete them and I think they are the better for it.  The assignment in the HOW book was to make an embroidery copy of one section of the tapestry.  Since none of the kids in my class wanted to learn to embroider and frankly we didn't have the time to devote to learning this handicraft, we opted for a simpler route of copywork.  Each student was to choose one section of the tapestry and make a full-scale drawing using the grid method.  Color was added as closely as possible with colored pencils. We couldn't get exact color matches but I allowed some leeway as long as they stayed within the color scheme.

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