I Never Noticed the Billedvev Baby

As I teach workshops and give lectures about Norwegian billedvev, I look at many medieval pieces over and over. I keep seeing new things–motifs, horse details, and even a baby!

The “Feast of Herod” (Herodes Gjestebud) image was woven many times.  Here’s one version owned by the National Museum (Nasjonalmuseet) in Oslo.

Here’s another version owned by the museum. It’s fun to look at old pieces that clearly used the same cartoon, but have variations in color and pattern in the clothing, the hands, the unusual stripes on the tree.

As with so many things, continued examination turns up new things. In the many times I’ve looked at the image, I had missed the woman in the top row with a baby tucked in her clothing. The detail below is from yet another version of “The Feast of Herod.”

Note the symbol above the woman, the diamonds that flank two vertical lines. I added one of those to the “Medieval Mash-Up” I am currently weaving.

Symbols, color, pattern, hidden babies–it’s all so much fun.

One comment

  1. Robbie, I am really enjoying the new things you are finding in these old weavings! Love finding all the babies… and the little horses!


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