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Tapestry of Bayuex Screenprints on Display

Posted 10.14.17 by Allison Fischbach

The Bayeux Tapestry is a famed medieval tapestry depicting the Norman conquest of England, culminating in the Battle of Hastings in 1066 C.E. The original tapestry, now housed in Normandy, is a length of cloth nearly 230 feet long and 20 inches high, embroidered in detail as was common for tapestries in churches and wealthy homes of the time.

The tapestry is often cited as the best known work of Anglo-Saxon art, and for centuries was housed in the Bayeux Cathedral, from which it gets its name. Though called a tapestry, this piece of fabric art is technically an embroidery, in which colored threads are used to stitch the design into a cloth. In contrast, true tapestries weave designs directly into the cloth as it is made.

The screenprint reproduction featured here is common of teaching tools in the 18th and 19th century. Produced by Charles Stothard, this facsimile cleanly and clearly represents the images on the original tapestry. Stothard himself was a well-known archeological draftsman at the time and used his reputation to reproduce and sell exact versions of the tapestry to collectors, scholars, and schools. Before the widespread use of photography, illustrative and print facsimiles like this one provided students with necessary insight into historical artworks, even when they were not able to view the actual thing.

Decker Library has a number of teaching reproductions like this, which helped past MICA students gain knowledge of historical artworks before photography or the internet brought it to their fingertips. We now invite you to take a look at some selected panels from this work.

Image Information:

Thumbnail and This Page: Images of the screenprint on display. Photos by Meredith Moore.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.

This page was last updated on 10/16/2017.