I have just done myself a huge favour and bought myself a book titled "The Apocalypse Tapestry of Angers" by Liliane Delwasse (Editions du Patrimoine: 2008). It was going to be an early Christmas present but due to international postage hassles (or was it local?) it is now a birthday present. Oh well, I am thrilled to have it.
For over a year now I have been working on a project based on this particular Medieval tapestry. Using much creative imaginings and artistic licence I have pasted together an understanding of this work through images and information gleaned from the Internet. While the Internet is an incredible source, and I would never have come across the tapestry it if I hadn’t been looking for images for monsters and beasts, I always suspected that there was much I was missing.
So not being able to get to see the work "in the flesh" I ordered this book from the museum in France. Having waited such a long time for it to arrive and having my bouncing enthusiasm dashed every other morning (I don’t receive many parcels in the post) said enthusiasm finally waned and I felt I could continue with my project quite happily without it. But no, now I realise again how important and inspiring it is to study master pieces with attention and in great detail. And this work is filled with details I could only guess at and a level of craftsmanship which is awe-inspiring. I am absolutely fascinated by the intricacy, patterning, careful toning and colouring to be seen in it.
There is nothing quite like studying the work of master artists and craftsmen, from any age, to make one feel both inspired and insignificant. Yet again the Tapestry of Angers has captured my imagination and it is wonderful to be enthralled. Now I just need to ground myself for long enough to pull images out of my head and my heart and to continue with a work which I hope, perhaps, will instil a little awe in others.
The Two Witnesses - detail.
Third panel, scene 30 (28) of the Apocalypse Tapestry of Angers.
Photo credits: CMN/ Caroline Rose
"The Apocalypse Tapestry of Angers" by Liliane Delwasse (Editions du Patrimoine: 2008) page 31.