My conclusion is more of a commencement than an ending. First a brief summary. My colleague and I found ourselves in need of a new way of organizing material in our course on early tapestry and text, so I created a taxonomy of narrative in tapestry based on how narrative texts were represented as three dimensional objects. I proposed three distinct styles: linear, non-linear and iconographic.
We also felt the need for a term that would describe the way tapestries functioned in relationship to text, and selected “reverse ekphrasis.” The tapestries functioned not as auxiliary illustrations but often as complex visual narratives, based on both actual and imaginary texts, requiring decoding. And just as there was a cognitive or interpretative element in a written ekphrasis, (for example, a poem about a tapestry) so was there a new or additional cognitive element in the deciphering of visual narratives in the tapestries. Finally I devised a third variety of ekphrasis, the “collagic,” to describe more accurately the relationship of tapestry to an assemblage of multiple texts.