Heroes in Armor in the Heritage Library
Helden in Harnas - tentoonstelling - Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience Antwerpen

Heroes in armor

 

Heritage Library Hendrik Conscience, Nottebohmroom

Antwerp, Hendrik Conscienceplein 4

 29/10/2021 –  23/01/2022

Helden in Harnas - tentoonstelling - Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience Antwerpen - ridderuitrusting van het MAS

Heritage Library Hendrik Conscience

For 2 years I have been warming up participants of my guided tours in the Heritage Library about an exhibition about knightly stories. It was originally scheduled for December 2020, but it was canceled due to COVID. Some books had to come from Washington and they were also not allowed to travel. Now it finally started … the exhibition ‘Heroes in Armor’ can be visited until January in the most beautiful room in the city.

Helden in Harnas - tentoonstelling - Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience Antwerpen - beeld zaal

Knight stories from the 15th and 16th centuries

The exhibition is divided into 4 parts. The first part gives a kind of introduction to the knight stories 400 years ago. Here you will find Karel ende Elegast, a well-known text. The story is not a typical knight’s story, because it is short and only has a few characters. Most knightly stories are long (sometimes up to 5000 pages!) and have hundreds of characters.

Helden in Harnas - tentoonstelling - Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience Antwerpen - stripverhalen

Snowwhite and Starbucks

The ‘snowwhite’ in the title is not about the Disney character, but about a charred book from the collection of the University Library of Leuven. After a fire, they were kept in a glass box as a reminder of the lost heritage. There is a snowwhite in the exhibition because one of the two surviving copies of a knight’s tale from 1510 was lost in a fire.

Everyone knows the logo of the Starbucks coffee chain. It’s Melusine, a woman with a fish tail. She only gets the fish tail on Saturdays and then her husband, knight Raymondin, is not allowed to see her. He is too curious, he sees her with the tail and so Melusine gets a fish tail forever. Even your coffee is inspired by old knight tales!

Helden in Harnas - tentoonstelling - Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience Antwerpen - verhaalstructuur en boeken

The Swan Knight and Don Quixote

A well-known story in several countries in Europe is that of the Swan Knight. A knight who sails up the local river in a boat pulled by a swan. Also here in Antwerp this story was told with Elias as a knight, the grandfather of Godfried van Bouillon. You can read the story here, but also in the MAS exhibition ‘Listen’.

Don Quixote is a parody of the knight’s tale and according to many the first modern novel. The characters are complex and nothing is black and white. Cervantes, the writer of this book of a knight fighting windmills, was a big fan of Orlando Furioso. This last story features a hippogriff, a horse with an eagle’s head. You may also know him from the Harry Potter stories?

Helden in Harnas - tentoonstelling - Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience Antwerpen - verhaalstructuur en globe

Heroes in armor

 

Heritage Library Hendrik Conscience, Nottebohmroom

Antwerp, Hendrik Conscienceplein 4

29/10/2021 – 23/01/2022

More information (in Dutch)

More exhibitions and events in Antwerp

The Silversmith Building and Silversmith Alley

The Silversmith Building and Silversmith Alley

Silversmith Building Antwerp architect unknown Antwerp, Lange Koepoortstraat 58 1561-1570 Silversmith Building Antwerp Last week I visited the Silversmith Building and the accompanying Silversmith Alley for the first time. I was expected in the Lange Koepoortstraat in...

read more
Masterpieces in Miniature at DIVA

Masterpieces in Miniature at DIVA

Masterpieces in Miniature DIVA Suikerrui 17-19, Antwerp 05/03/2021 – 15/08/2021DIVA After jewelery from the 60s and 70s, it is time for the collection of Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert to take over the DIVA museum. This collection is owned by the Victoria and Albert...

read more
Maagdenhuis – museum in a former orphanage

Maagdenhuis – museum in a former orphanage

Maagdenhuis Lange Gasthuisstraat 33, AntwerpLange Gasthuisstraat The Maagdenhuis is a museum that is not really known in Antwerp. It is located on the Mechelseplein, in the Lange Gasthuisstraat. It is a good neighbourhood, with the other smaller museum, Mayer Van den...

read more