Medieval embroidered tapestry depicting the Norman Conquest. Woven in woolen threads of eight colours on coarse linen, it is about 231 ft (70 m) long by about 20 in. (50 cm) wide. It consists of 79 consecutive scenes, with Latin inscriptions and decorative borders. Stylistically it resembles English illuminated manuscripts. It was probably woven c. 1066, within a few years of the conquest, and was possibly commissioned by Odo, bishop of Bayeux, brother of William I (the Conqueror). The most famous of all pieces of needlework, it hung for centuries in the cathedral in Bayeux (Normandy) and now hangs in the tapestry museum there.
English axman in combat with Norman cavalry during the Battle of Hastings, detail from the
—Giraudon/Art Resource, New York
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