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Weaving Stories

Many stories in the Bible are very dramatic and exciting. They make good pictures and have inspired artists for hundreds of years in every possible medium: wood, stone, paint, glass, mosaic, weaving and embroidery.

Weavers preferred to use the longer stories with several episodes so that a set of tapestries, large or small, could tell the whole story.

Many of these stories would have been familiar because they were shown in wall-paintings in churches, in carvings in great houses or in illustrated manuscripts. Later, very similar pictures were included in printed Bibles.

This online resource explores three small tapestries in the Fitzwilliam Museum, based on biblical stories from the Old Testament; two, both of them square, show episodes from the life of Isaac.

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