This is the most detailed – facially – of the figures depicting William in the Tapestry: and his seated figure is majestic and over-sized, similar to the scenes where a seated king Edward bulks larger than other mortals around him.
Note the pair of figures behind the duke’s throne: is the one holding his fingers up to the others lips to stop him from “spilling the beans?” The story that Harold was tricked into promising William support in his claim to the English throne was attested by Harold himself, according to later Norman accounts (even the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle – “C” – admits that “William from Normandy (was) king Edward’s kinsman,” thus implying that he had a recognized claim). What made it worse for him was the hidden relics under the draperies of the alters. Perhaps the English artisans alluded to this Norman sneakiness by hinting that the two observers behind William knew what was going on.
By first becoming William’s vassal, Harold bound himself to support his lord in all his legal rights. Then came the oaths, sworn upon the host – under Harold’s left hand – and also upon (hidden) holy relics, to help William forward his claim upon the English crown. The pact was to be sealed by marriages: Harold to one of William’s daughters, and his sister to one of William’s nobles.
Once these oaths had been made, Harold was free to return home.
In the past weeks, I’ve broken down the amount of week I do in one day. Today I’m just creating the alter and Harold.
It takes about 4 hours to get it from drawing to fabric.
Frustratingly I had to stop and re-glue some of the fusible web back together.
I normally do that the day prior to using it to allow the glue to dry sufficiently.
I took this photo in Bayeux Cathedral. The images from the Tapestry are placed high on the wall of the choir. I try to check the body positions of some of the images… it helps in translating the body language. The Choir in Bayeux Cathedral. The spire of Bayeux Cathedral.