De visuelle manifestationer på Bayeuxtapetet af den gudfrygtige kong Edvard og dets få kvinder

  • Lise Gjedssø Bertelsen Department of Archaeology & Ancient History, Uppsala University, Sweden


Title: Visual Manifestations of the Pious King Edward and the Few Women on the Bayeux Tapestry
This article suggests that the appearances of Edward the Confessor on the Bayeux Tapes­try underline Duke William’s entitlement to the English throne and the weakness of Harold God­win­son’s claims. It is argued that King Edward might be depicted six times rather than five. A medi­aeval king had two bodies, one natural and the other with divine right to rule by God’s grace. In the first five re­presentations of Edward we witness the gradual decay and peaceful death of his natural body in sharp contrast to Harold Godwinson’s violent death later on the battlefield, and in the sixth, Duke William sits half hidden by a man closely resembling Edward. This might be Edward’s spiritual poli­tical body sustaining William’s divine right to the English throne. – The gender balance for indi­viduals depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry is 99 % men and 1 % women. Of the total of six women the three in the main register are high status persons who appear near important buildings, depicted as mis­tress (probably), wife or mother. Three other women appear in erotic scenes in the margins, but their lack of clothes and attributes makes it difficult to determine their identity.
How to Cite
GJEDSSØ BERTELSEN, Lise. De visuelle manifestationer på Bayeuxtapetet af den gudfrygtige kong Edvard og dets få kvinder. ICO Iconographisk Post. Nordisk tidskrift för bildtolkning – Nordic Review of Iconography, [S.l.], n. 4, p. 26-43, may 2015. ISSN 2323-5586. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 24 june 2024.


Bayeux Tapestry, Battle of Hastings, Viking Age, Mediaeval Art, Embroidery, Edward the Confessor, William the Conqueror, Harold Godwinson