Friday, June 01, 2007

Tapestry of the Apocalypse

It shouldn't come as a surprise to know that the largest medieval tapestry in the world is also covered in strange depictions of beasts. It was weaved by Nicholas Bataille and painted by Hennequin de Bruges. The work is on display in a castle located in a castle in Angers, the capital of the historical province of Anjou in France.

"In 1373, the King of France, Charles V, lent his brother Louis I, Duke of Anjou, the manuscrpt of an "Apocalypse in French fully illustrated and historiated: This inspired the Duke to commission "large tapestries of the story of the Apocalypse:. " - quote source

"The battle of Armageddon rages, as Satan, "the great red dragon" (depicted with seven heads), and his minions of composite animals mark their earthly followers. The holy forces retaliate by breaking the seven vials of plagues. It all ends with heavenly Jerusalem, and Satan buried for a thousand years. The slightly flattened medieval perspective has a hallucinatory quality, extraordinarily beautiful and terrifying, evoking the end of the world either in accordance with the first-century text or as a secular holocaust." - quote source

This photo of the tapestry on display shows the epic scale of this work.
Click here and here to see more photos of the tapestry.

Here is another fantastic beast and woodwose filled tapestry from the 15th century. I'm not aware of the artist responsible for this work.

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