McNulty, J. Bard Bard

J. Bard McNulty, former chairman of the Department of English, Trinity College, Hartford, writes books on the relationships of literature and art. He is the author of The Narrative Art of the Bayeux Tapestry Master (1989), and has subsequently served as a consultant to the History Department of the British Broadcasting Corporation at its filming of the Tapestry in Bayeux. He has lectured on the Tapestry in England, France, and Italy, and at numerous academic conferences in the United States.

Visual Meaning in the Bayeux Tapestry
2003 0-7734-6618-5
This study explains how images in the Tapestry that are generally dismissed as purely decorative, random, or historically mistaken are in fact none of these, but meaningful devices observable in other medieval works. In light of major studies in medieval iconography, historiography, and visual narrative, it shows how apparent anomalies in the Tapestry are to be read as devices deliberately designed to help interpret and add thematic depth to the narrative. The volume shows, for example, how the image-filled borders help the observer interpret the scenes they accompany, and that, far from being random, they respond to a program which, among other things, determines the positioning of Aesop’s fables and other images.