2016 | In Search of Utopia 1516 (A Story in four acts)
Leuven, M – Museum Leuven, 20-10-2016 - 17-01-2017
In 2016 it will be 500 years since the English humanist and statesman Thomas More published his Utopia in Leuven. The quincentenary of this milestone in Europe’s cultural and intellectual history will be marked by a major exhibition in M – Museum Leuven.
Thomas More (1478-1535), humanist, statesman, and ambassador of Henry VIII of England, had his book Utopia published in 1516 at the renowned printing house established by Dirk Martens in the university town Leuven – Erasmus acted as go-between. Utopia is, without doubt, the most influential new book ever published not merely in Leuven but in the whole of the Low Countries. More coined the word ‘Utopia’ himself. Derived from the ancient Greek it means ‘not-place’ or ‘Nowhereland’. Down the centuries it has spawned a slew of adjectives and connotations. The first part of the book is a thinly disguised critique of the social and political systems of Tudor England. The second part describes the ideal society on the imaginary island of Utopia and the political, social and religious customs of the islanders.
To mark the quincentenary of this milestone in Europe’s intellectual and cultural history the City of Leuven and University of Leuven are mounting a major exhibition: In Search of Utopia. It takes as its starting point a concrete fact in Leuven’s history – the printing, in 1516, of the first edition of Utopia. But the exhibition ranges far beyond that to explore the European fascination with the universe, with the globe, its parts and its inhabitants, and to delve into man’s dream of an ideal world. Around 1516 that dream was taking shape in the most diverse ways, and its story is told by over a hundred fabulous works of art, all dating from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and arranged in four acts.
The first act focuses on Utopia the book. It examines the intellectual and cultural context in which it was produced. The second act (Phantasms) follows the rhythm of passion and devotion, those two fundamental mainsprings of human enterprise. Here the feverish Garden of Earthly Delights, the mythical Golden Age and disillusioning Death are contrasted with images of the Garden of Eden and the Last Judgement. The third section goes in quest of the Terra Incognita, the tantalizing and mysterious utopian world beyond the horizon. Imagining the unknown engenders the desire to go in search of it. The fourth act brings us to the finale. Around 1516 time and space are rationalised and measurable. As in an ultimate utopia man seeks to hold the universe and eternity in his hands. Science and art merge into a sublime form.
In Search of Utopia 1516
(A story in four acts)
1. The Book – Libellus vere aureus Utopia
2. Imaginary Worlds – Phantasms
2.1. The Garden of Earthly Delights – Enclosed Garden
2.2. Golden Age – Garden of Eden
2.3. Dystopia – The Last Judgement
3. Beyond the Horizon - Terra Incognita
3.2. The Geography of Imagination
3.3. The Tantalizing Horizon
4. Holding the Universe – Perpetuum Mobile
2013 | Hieronymus Cock. The renaissance in print
Paris, Fondation Custodia - InstItut Néerlandais, 18-09-2013 – 15-12-2013
Hieronymus Cock (1518-1570) was undoubtedly the greatest print publisher the Low Countries have ever known. His house ‘In the Four Winds’ in Antwerp specialized exclusively in the production of printed images, but on a scale never seen before. Cock not only managed to secure the services of the best engravers, he also had his prints – many hundreds – designed by the most ambitious and innovative artists of the day.
Hieronymus Cock played a crucial role in disseminating the art of the Italian Renaissance in the Low Countries and introducing new forms of ornamentation and architecture. It was Cock, too, who recognized the genius of the young Pieter Bruegel, with his art rooted in the Netherlandish tradition. Bruegel’s diabolical fantasies and his grand vision of the landscape were soon familiar throughout Europe thanks to the prints Cock published.
The exhibition, which was previously staged in Louvain, presents almost the entire range of prints a client could choose from ‘In the Four Winds’. Some of the rare design drawings have also been brought together for this occasion. The selection was made from the collections in the Royal Library in Brussels, augmented by loans from other European collections.
The exhibition is a collaborative venture between Museum M in Louvain, the Royal Library of Belgium in Brussels, Illuminare – Centre for the Study of Medieval Art in Louvain, and the Fondation Custodia in Paris.
A lavishly illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition (available in Dutch, French and English).
2013 | Postelse pracht. De boekenwereld van de abdij van Postel
Mol, Bezoekerscentrum Abdijbibliotheek Postel, 23-06-2013 ‒ 31-12-2013
De bibliotheek van de norbertijnenabdij in Postel bevat een schat aan bijzondere boeken: handschriften, incunabelen en uitzonderlijke drukken. Het is abt Rombout Colibrant die in het begin van de 17de eeuw de kern van de huidige verzameling samenstelt. In de loop van de 19de en de 20ste eeuw wordt de collectie uitgebreid.
Het Bezoekerscentrum in de abdijbibliotheek toont de mooiste exemplaren uit de verzameling. Rijk verluchte manuscripten, wiegedrukken uit de vijftiende eeuw, atlassen en prachtige religieuze en wetenschappelijke werken uit de 16de tot de 18de eeuw brengen de geschiedenis van de boekillustratie tot leven.
Monumenten uit de boekgeschiedenis krijgen een prominente plaats. De sublieme Atlas Major van Johannes Blaeu, de indrukwekkende Polyglotbijbel, het meesterwerk van de Antwerpse uitgever Christoffel Plantin, de invloedrijke Palazzo di Genova van Pieter Paul Rubens en de geheimzinnige Onderaardse Wereld van Atanasius Kirchner die de uitbarsting van de Etna in beeld brengt, worden aangevuld met kleurrijke boekbanden, gravures, houtsneden en originele koperplaten. Het zijn stille getuigen van de rijkdom van de abdijbibliotheek.
2013 | Hieronymus Cock. The renaissance in print
Leuven, M – Museum Leuven, 14th of March – 9th of June 2013
Pieter Bruegel the Elder is known to us all for his famous paintings. These days not so many people know that in his day Bruegel made his name among the general public as a designer of prints. Commissioned by the Antwerp publisher Hieronymus Cock (1517/8-1570), Bruegel produced more than sixty drawings which were cut in copper by the best engravers of his time.
Cock set about making Bruegel a star artist by diffusing his prints throughout Europe. The Royal Library of Belgium houses a wealth of documents by Cock and his print publishing house, ‘Aux Quatre Vents’ (‘At the Sign of the Four Winds’).
As well as Bruegel, Cock also published innovative prints by great renaissance masters like Raphael, Bronzino, Floris, Lombard and Heemskerck. M Leuven is providing the public with a one-off opportunity to view a wide selection of these works on paper from the Royal Library of Belgium’s Print Room plus loans from collections at home and abroad.
Joris Van Grieken, Ger Luijten and Jan Van der Stock ed. Hieronymus Cock. The renaissance in print. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013. (Also available in Dutch and French)
Royal Library of Belgium, M - Museum Leuven, Fondation Custodia – Collection Frits Lugt.
Hieronymus Cock. The renaissance in print in the media (Click for PDF)
2013 | The Magnificent Middle Ages
Antwerp, Museum Plantin-Moretus, 2nd of February – 5th of Mai 2013
Christopher Plantin started collecting biblical and classical writings in the 16th century. A century later these had been joined by superb Bibles, missals and books of hours from all over Europe.
From the late 18th century the Moretus family took the collection to even greater heights. Illuminated manuscripts began to be seen as exquisite works of art from a distant and exotic mediaeval past. At the same time as these manuscripts were being treasured, unwanted parchment folios were being used as endpapers or dust jackets.
This exhibition, The Magnificent Middle Ages, shows 40 striking and important examples of book illumination. They were selected jointly by the Plantin-Moretus Museum and Illuminare – Centre for the Study of Medieval Art (KU Leuven). The exhibition is based on new art historical research by Lieve Watteeuw and Catherine Reynolds.
Lieve Watteeuw and Catherine Reynolds. Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts of Museum Plantin-Moretus. Ed. Jan Van der Stock. Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2013.
Magnifieke Middeleeuwen: Mediaboek (Click for PDF)
Leuven, M – Museum Leuven, 17th of September 2010 – 5th of December 2010.
The Anjou Bible - Naples 1340 - a royal manuscript revealed presents the superbly illuminated pages of a little- known manuscript created at the unruly Royal Court of Naples in the turbulent fourteenth century. Power, intrigue, gold, a couple of shadowy figures and several exceptionally talented artists make for an explosive mix!
The precious parchment folios of the Bible, which found its way to Brabant many centuries ago, have been carefully taken apart to give the public a chance to admire them. After the exhibition, this fragile gem will be irrevocably re-bound and returned indefinitely to the strongroom at Leuven University for safekeeping.
First half of the fourteenth century. Southern and Central Europe were governed by the successful dynasty of Anjou, which continued to expand its territories and boasted artists like Giotto, Boccaccio and Petrarch. In 1328, after the death of her father, Joanna of Anjou became the official heir to the prosperous house of the kings of Naples and Sicily. Several years later her grandfather, Robert I, gave Joanna and her young Hungarian fiancé Andrew a precious gift. That gift was an exceptionally valuable manuscript which became known as the Anjou Bible.
Lieve Watteeuw and Jan Van der Stock ed. The Anjou Bible. A Royal Manuscript Revealed. Napels 1340. Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2010.
Fund InBev-Baillet Latour, Maurits Sabbe Library – Faculty of Theology KU Leuven, Alamire Digital Lab – Alamire Foundation KU Leuven, Tabularium Centrale Bibliotheek KU Leuven, The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA).
2009 | Rogier van der Weyden 1400-1464. Master of Passions
Leuven, M – Museum Leuven, 20th of September – 6th of December 2009.
'Rogier van der Weyden. The Master of Passions' was a prestigious exhibition on one of the greatest Flemish Primitives, boasting numerous exclusive highlights. There were more than 100 exhibited works – all in mint condition – from 58 renowned collections in Europe and North-America.
Rogier van der Weyden and Jan Van Eyck were the two most important fifteenth century painters of the Southern Low Countries. Van der Weyden was the unrivalled master of passion and subdued emotion – for example, the sorrow of Mary and John at the foot of the cross, the deep concentration of the reading Mary Magdalene or the self-confident expression on the face of Charles the Bold, the mighty Duke of Burgundy.
This exhibition juxtaposed original works by Rogier van der Weyden and works by his associates and contemporaries.
Artworks that were dispersed over the centuries were being presented as an ensemble once more and several masterpieces had been meticulously conserved and restored for the exhibition.
Lorne Campbell and Jan Van der Stock, Rogier van der Weyden 1400-1464. Master of Passions. Leuven: Davidsfonds, 2009.
Art History Research Unit, KU Leuven, Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage Brussels, Centre for Fifteenth-Century Painting in the Southern Netherlands and the Principality of Liège - Brussels, National Gallery London.
2002 | Medieval Mastery. Book Illumination from Charlemagne to Charles the Bold. 800-1475
Leuven, Municipal Museum Vander Kelen – Mertens, 21st of September – 8th of December 2002.
For the towns and cities of Flanders the Middle Ages were of immense importance in many respects, not at least for the production of art. Works of art by Flemish masters enjoyed international fame and the manuscripts were also of highest quality. The initiators of the exhibition Medieval Mastery sought to put this precious heritage on view. Medieval Mastery brings together nearly one hundred manuscripts, each of which ranks among the finest examples of western European book illumination.
Medieval Mastery. Book Illumination from Charlemagne to Charles the Bold / 800-1475. Leuven: Davidsfonds, 2002.
Royal Library of Belgium (Brussels), The Walters Art Museum (Baltimore), Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (Brussels), Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen.
1998 | Het stadhuis van Leuven
Leuven, City Hall of Leuven, 19th September – 6th of December 1998.
In 1998 it was 550 years ago that the first stone of the Town Hall of Leuven was laid. Therefore, the Town Hall is the main witness of the history of Leuven. It experienced turbulent times and went through festive events.
This exhibition evoked the history of the building. Objects and documents explained why the creation of a new city hall was decided and gave an insight into the complicated origin of it.
Maurits Smeyers et al. Het Leuvense Stadhuis. Pronkjuweel van de Brabantse gotiek. Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 1998.
K.U. Leuven, Museum for Old Techniques Grimbergen, Municipal Museum Vander Kelen – Mertens.
1998 | Leven te Leuven in de late Middeleeuwen
Leuven, Municipal Museum Vander Kelen – Mertens, 19th of September – 6th of December 1998.
Leuven still belonged to the major cities of the Southern Netherlands during the 15th century. She earned her prestige thanks to a glorious past, a dynamic governance, an active artisan life and to the presence of universities.
Through the image of the social classes, the activities in the market, the activities of the craftsman and the idea of the mortal man of Leuven in the late Middle Ages, the exhibition tried to eliminate the image of the Middle Ages as a 'dark time' to the public.
Smeyers, Maurits et al. Leven te Leuven in de late Middeleeuwen. Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 1998.
K.U. Leuven, Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History, Municipal Herb Garden, Municipal Museum Vander Kelen – Mertens.
1998 | Dirk Bouts, een Vlaams primitief te Leuven
Leuven, St. Peter’s Church and Predikherenkerk, 19th of September – 6th of September 1998.
Dirk Bouts was not born in Louvain, but his name is connected to it and thanks to him the Dyle-city occupies a prominent place in the history of the Flemish primitives. As a witness of the City Hall building and as employee, he deserved therefore the necessary attention in the feast year in which the 550th anniversary of the first stone of the Town Hall is commemorated.
Within the group of Flemish primitives, Bouts occupies a prominent role as well as a clear marked position. Nevertheless, an intensive study of Bouts began at a late date. This exhibition intended to introduce the artist to a broad audience.
Maurits Smeyers et al. Dirk Bouts, een Vlaams primitief te Leuven. Leuven: Peeters Publisher, 1998.
KU Leuven, Municipal Museum Vander Kelen – Mertens, V.U. Amsterdam, Municipal Museums Bruges, Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, U.C. Leuven, Katholiek Pedagogisch Centrum ‘s-Hertogenbosch, University of New York.
1996-1997 | Flamandskaja knizjnaja miniatjoera 1475-1550 |
Miniature fiamminghe 1475-1550 |
Vlaamse miniaturen voor vorsten en burgers 1475-1550
St. Petersburg, Hermitage Museum, 7th of March – 5th of May1996 / Antwerp, Royal Museum of Fine Arts, 11th of April – 22nd of June 1997 / Firenze, Museo Bardini, 7th of June – 28th of July 1996.
The art production of the Southern Netherlands in the 15th and 16th centuries played an important role in the evolution of European art in general. Illuminated manuscripts were renowned on the international art market and therefore gave Flanders a worldwide fame.
This exhibition dealt with a selection of treasures from the 15th and 16th centuries. For the first time manuscripts were gathered from the last and most famous phase of Flemish manuscript illumination. The exhibition was held in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, in the Museo Bardini in Florence and finally in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp.
Maurits Smeyers and Jan Van der Stock. Flemish Illuminated Manuscripts 1475-1550. Ghent: Ludion, 1997. (Also available in Dutch, Russian, Italian and French)
K.U. Leuven, Royal Library of Belgium, Museum Mayer van den Bergh Antwerp.
1993 | Antwerp, story of a metropolis: 16th and 17th century
antwerp, hessenhuis 25 june - 10 october 1993
1993 | Medieval Magic. Flemish Miniatures Before Van Eyck (ca. 1380-ca. 1420)
Leuven, Culture Center Romaanse poort, 7th of September – 7th of November 1993.
The interest in medieval art and culture grew during the early nineties. It was widely recognized that Flanders had played a leading role during this period in art history. This is undoubtedly the case with the art of illumination that one would describe as one of the most essential components of Flemish art.
This exhibition showed not only valuable objects of the Flemish illuminators, but also took a neglected period from oblivion, namely the art production from around 1400. The exhibition offered a fascinating glimpse into the talents and working methods of the artists and into the intellectual environments in which these books were created.
Maurits Smeyers. Vlaamse miniaturen voor Van Eyck (ca. 1380 - ca. 1420). Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 1993.
KU Leuven, Royal Library of Belgium, State Archives Ghent, U.C. Leuven-la-Neuve, Centre for the Study of Flemish Illuminators.
1991 | STAD IN VLAANDEREN. CULTUUR EN MAATSCHAPPIJ 1477-1787 | LA VILLE EN FLANDRE. CULTURE ET SOCIETE 1477-1787 | STADTBILDER IN FLANDERN. SPUREN BÜRGERLICHER KULTUR 1477-1487
BRUSSELS, GALLERY OF THE CRÉDIT COMMUNAL, 6TH OF MARCH – 28TH OF APRIL 1991 / SCHALLABURG, RENAISSANCESCHLOSS, 1TH OF MAI – 27TH OF OCTOBER 1991.
The Niederösterreichische Landesregierung in Austria had invited the Flemish Community to organize an exhibition in 1991 in the Renaissanceschloss Schallaburg. The image of Flanders is strongly determined by the history of its cities. Flemish culture is primarily a typical urban culture. The cities were at the heart of Flanders and exercised a great influence on the whole territory. It is therefore reasonable that Flanders proposes itself by its cities in Schallaburg. This exposition dealt with the material traces of urban culture in Flanders. The exhibition also took place in the Gallery of Crédit Communal in Brussels.
Jan Van der Stock (ed.). Stad in Vlaanderen. Cultuur en maatschappij 1477-1787. Brussels: Gemeentekrediet, 1991. (also availabe in French and German)
1990 | Bernardus en de Cisterciënzerfamilie in België 1090-1990
Leuven, Library of the Faculty of Theology, 26th of October – 8th of December 1990.
This exhibition celebrated the ninth centenary of the birth of Bernard of Clairvaux. The Bernard Memorial was a unique opportunity to bring a number of valuable documents, manuscripts, printed books, paintings, sculptures - mainly from Cistercian or Trappist abbeys from our country – together. In this way, it gave a demonstrative image of this rich tradition of monastics over the centuries.
Maurits Sabbe et al. Bernardus en de Cisterciënzerfamilie in België 1090-1990. Leuven: Library of the Faculty of Theology, 1990.
1989 | In beeld geprezen. Miniaturen uit Maaslandse devotieboeken 1250-1350
Sint-Truiden, Provincial Museum for Religious Art, 10th of August – 12th of November 1989.
The attention to exhibitions of old art in this museum regularly goes to the artistic expressions and cultural history of the area that largely belonged to the county of Loon in the Middle Ages. Artistically this area was strongly influenced by the Meuse region. More specifically, the so-called Mosan art flowered largely from the 9th to the 12th century. The architecture, silverware, didanderie and book illumination are renowned worldwide. The following centuries however are often regarded as a period of decline due to lack of study and research. Lavishly illustrated manuscripts from the 13th and 14th centuries were the central focus of this exhibition.
Leo De Ren et al. In beeld geprezen. Miniaturen uit Maaslandse devotieboeken 1250-1350. Leuven: Peeters, 1989.
KU Leuven, Royal Library of Belgium, Provincial Museum for Religious Art (Sint-Truiden), Colgate University (New York), Museum of Religious Art and Mosan Art (Liège), Provincial Department for Cultural Heritage Rijkel.
1988 | Schatten der armen. Het artistiek en historisch bezit van het O.C.M.W.-Leuven
Leuven, Municipal Museum Vander Kelen – Mertens, 1988.
Commonly the art collection of the former Leuven Hospices still bears the name "treasures of the poor". Therefore this exhibition received the title for the patrimony of the Public Centre for Social Welfare.
The treasures of the former Hospices of the city in the 16th century escaped the religious wars and the two world wars in the 20th century. Therefore this collection can be considered as a heterogeneous collection dating from the 15th to the 20th century. The collection was brought together in its totality in the Museum Vander Kelen-Mertens for a temporally exhibition.
Lutgarde Bessemans et al. Schatten der armen: het artistiek en historisch bezit van het O.C.M.W.-Leuven. Leuven: Municipal Museum Vander Kelen - Mertens, 1988.
Municipal Museum Vander Kelen – Mertens, O.C.M.W.-Leuven, KU Leuven.
1987 | Koning Artur en de Nederlanden
Leuven, Municipal Museum Vander Kelen – Mertens, 25th of July – 25th of October 1987.
This exhibition was organized in relation to the 15th conference of the Société Internationale Arthurienne - International Arthurian Society, organized by the Institute for Medieval Studies at Leuven in July 1987. Interdisciplinary research highlighted the development and the diverse influences of the Artur-literature in the Low Countries. Since the illumination of medieval manuscripts belonged to the most eye-catching achievements in medieval art, it seemed desirable to visualize the topic in an accompanying exhibition. Moreover the influence of Artur-literature on various art forms was one of the conference central themes.
Werner Verbeke, Jef Janssens en Maurits Smeyers (ed.). Arturus rex: Volume I. Koning Artur en de Nederlanden. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1987.
KU Leuven, Municipal Museum Vander Kelen – Mertens.
1986 | Handschriften uit de abdij van Sint-Truiden
Sint-Truiden, Provincial Museum for Religious Art, 28th of June – 5th of October 1986.
There was a renewed interest in the old Abbey of Saint Trudo. As a result archaeological excavations generated new information that gave a better insight on the historical evolution of the 1300 years old Benedictine abbey. This exhibition framed this growing interest in the history of the Abbey of Saint Trudo. It brought handwritten codices together and attempted to reconstruct the medieval monastery library. Therefore, the decorative material relicts offered the possibility to find out more about the religious and spiritual vitality of a community who lived in imitation of the Benedictine rule.
Els Deconinck et al. Handschriften uit de abdij van Sint-Truiden. Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 1986.
Provincial Museum for Religious Art (Sint-Truiden), KU Leuven.
1985 | Werken van barmhartigheid - 650 jaar Alexianen in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden
Leuven, Municipal Museum Vander Kelen – Mertens, 24th of November – 22nd of December 1985.
In 1985 the Congregation of Alexian Brothers existed 650 years. This exhibition tried to visualize a complete image of the historical and artistic wealth that recalls 650 years of devoted service, in imitation of Christ, by those who were affected by the suffering of the man on the street.
Maurits Smeyers et al. Werken van barmhartigheid: 650 jaar Alexianen in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden. Leuven: Municipal Museum Vander Kelen – Mertens, 1985.
Municipal Museum Vander Kelen – Mertens, O.C.M.W. Leuven, KU Leuven.
1984 | Korsendonk en de Moderne Devotie
Turnhout, Municipal Museum of Turnhout, 1st of December 1984 – 6th of January 1985.
600 years ago the Devotio Moderna arose in the Low Countries, a mental attitude and rapidly a movement of "Renewed Inwardness". This renewal of spiritual life was the first Dutch contribution to European culture. This mental attitude originated from Deventer; liturgy, science, education, pastoral care and sometimes education played an important role. These Windesheimer monks also influenced the art of writing and illumination. Korsendonk was part of the chapter of Windesheim from 1412.
For over a hundred years there has been interest in the study of the Modern Devotion’s external (dates, people, places) and internal history (lifestyle, mindset, spirituality). This exhibition provided an overview of the results of this study.
E. Persoons en Harry De Kok. Korsendonk en de Moderne Devotie. Turnhout: Municipal Museum of Turnhout, 1984.
State Archives Belgium, KU Leuven.
1984 | Sint-Arnoldus en de Sint-Pietersabdij te Oudenburg 1084-1984
Oudenburg, St. Peter’s abbey, 18th of August – 30th of September 1984.
Already in the fourth century of our era the Romans built one of the oldest settlements of our country: Oudenburg. Several centuries later, in 1084, the Saint Arnold of Soissons founded a Benedictine Library.
Next to a general outline of the history of the former St. Peter's abbey, the exhibition also provided a detailed explanation of the iconography of Saint Arnoldus. Several miniatures, sculptures and paintings brought together with precious metalware, prints and other art forms formed a broad perspective of life in and around the convent on the one hand and of the figure of the Flemish saint on the other hand.
M. Baelde. Sint-Arnoldus en de Sint-Pietersabdij te Oudenburg 1084-1984. Oudenburg: Municipality of Oudenburg, 1984.
Ghent University, KU Leuven, Municipal Museum Ghent.
1984 | De Kartuizers en hun kloosters te Zelem
Diest, Municipal Museum, 30th of June – 30th of September 1984.
The Carthusian order was founded in 1084 by Saint Bruno, who lived in solitude to led a contemplative life. His lifestyle was influential in the Low Countries in the 14th century. Carthusians did not preach with the spoken word, but with the written one.
The former Carthusian monastery in Zelem, now inhabited by Dominician Sisters, was an interesting topic for the friends of the Municipal Museum and the Archives of Diest to celebrate the Carthusian ninth centenary with an exhibition.
Frans Hendrickx. “De Kartuizers en hun kloosters te Zelem”, Diestsche Cronycke, 7. Diest: Friends of the Municipal Museum and the Archives of Diest, 1984.
Friends of the Municipal Museum - Diest
1983 | Handschriften uit Diestse kerken en kloosters
Diest, Municipal Museum, 25th of June – 25th of September 1983.
This exhibition gave an overview of manuscripts that originated in the area of Diest. The aristocracy sometimes spent fortunes on the artistic production of manuscripts. Churches and monasteries were responsible for the the emergence of many tasteful examples of fine writing, intended for worship or study. The ambition was to find a worthy example of manuscript production in all the churches and monasteries of Diest and its immediate environment.
Maurits Smeyers et al. Handschriften uit Diestse kerken en kloosters, Diestsche Cronycke, 6. Diest: Friends of the Municipal Museum and the Archives of Diest, 1983.
Royal Library of Belgium, State Archives Brussels, KU Leuven, Society of Ruusbroec, State Archives of Hasselt, City Archives of Diest.