I'm grateful to Lene on her blog "The Essence of the Good Life", where I saw a picture of the beautiful Baldishol-tapestry the other day. It is such a fantastic story. Thank you Lene. The picture of the tapestry is in a perfect image on her blog.
The Baldishol is a woven tapestry, and it has been C-14 dated to the period between 1040-1190. The tapestry is 203 cm in lenght and 118 cm in height.The material is wool from the Norwegian sheep spellsau, flax is used in a few places. It is unique of its kind. It is not possible to say where it was made, but it is probably inspired by art from the continental Europe. Stylistically there is a sign of that it might be woven in northern France or in England, but it might also be woven in Norway. The tapestry has motif and stylistic parallels in European and especially French and English art, but there are also similarities to Norwegian medieval art. It might have been woven in a lesser central European workshop, but some provinsial details support the theory that it was woven in Norway.
|detail, the horseman|
The Baldishol-tapestry is one of the most important and interesting pieces in Nordic, and also in European textile art. It shows a big identity to the Bayeux-tapestry in the motif-processing, but the Bayeux is an embroidery, while the Baldishol is woven. The origin of the tapestry is not known. How it came to the Baldishol church will probably never be cleared up, but all the signs point to that the tapestry followed other church furniture from a church at Hovin on the island Helgøya in 1612. Here was once a king's residence, which more often than any other place had visitors like the Norwegian king and other persons of high descent and great riches.
|Baldishol-copy in the White House, Washington.|
5000 North American women wanted to give the White House a memory of the Norse-American 100 year's celebration in 1925. They were of the opinion that the Norse-American men had been too dominating in deciding how and what should be celebrated, so they established Norse Centennial Daughters Club. They decided to buy the copy of the Baldishol-tapestry, which had been on an exhibition in Norway in 1925. The exact copy was woven by the Norwegian textile artist Kristi Sekse Meland (1886-1965). She had spun the yarn and dyed it herself with plant dyes. The Norse-American women paid 1500 dollar for it, and a delegation presented it to president Calvin Coolidge's wife on 8. June 1926. What has happened to this exact copy of the Baldishol-tapestry in the White House is not known.
Store Norske Leksikon, Kunsthistorie; Baldishol in the White House. Blog: The Essence of the Good Life