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Location: Minneapolis, MN

Dempsey is a Golden Retriever puppy who is in training to become a Helping Paws service dog for an individual with a physical disability. He lives with his parents Doreen and Paul, and Bailey the cat. None has ever trained a puppy before. These are their adventures. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the blog author. The contents of this blog have not been reviewed or approved by Helping Paws, Inc.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Saturday: A Visit to Bayeux

Although we have been somewhat frustrated by how everything we do here seems to take so much longer, this delay was worth it. I planned to stop by Bayeux to see the famous tapestry. It's about 210 feet long, and it tells in detail how William of Normandy defeated Harold II, and is now known as William the Conqueror instead of William the Bastard.

I first heard about the tapestry when I was reading about Halley's Comet twenty (!) years ago. There's a scene depicting the comet as a bad omen foretelling the invasion and Harold's defeat at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 -- the last time England has ever been successfully invaded.

There's also an interesting scene depicting William's half-brother, Odo the Bishop, who followed William into battle. As a man of God, Odo carried not a sword, but a mace, because "although men of the church were not allowed to spill blood, they were permitted to batter their opponents with a club."

The tapestry has an interesting history. For example, during the French Revolution, it was almost used to cover wagons. You can read more about the history here.

Now, I know the tapestry is a masterpiece of Medieval art, but I'm just not that impressed with Medieval art. Maybe I'm biased by my expectation of three point perspective, but I just can't see any kind of thought in the design. Chinese art from the Tang Dynasty doesn't have three-point perspective, but the compositions are much more sophisticated, methinks, than anything you'd find during a similar period in Europe.

The relative simplicity of Medieval 2-D design is in stark contrast to 3-D design, where cathedrals like Notre Dame de Bayeux still impress today. Doreen and I couldn't say anything but: Wow.