Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Catherine's World

In Nijmegen we visited the exhibition "Catherine's World". This exhibition presents miniatures of a late medieval manuscript from the Northern Netherlands.
The manuscript called "Book of hours" belonged to Catherine of Cleves. She asked an anonymous master to illuminate the book which he did with an eye for detail by creating an intimate world of devotion, demons and daily life in the late Middle Ages.
Awaiting visitors outside the museum is Catherine "herself" still looking really fantastic in her red robe after all these years.She ordered her captain to fire a cannon outside the museum, advising visitors to keep their ears covered and their mouths open a little bit to release the pressure caused by the firing. It was a mighty sight and sound!The exhibition takes you by the hand by first creating a sphere of those ages. This is done by human sized dolls dressed in middle aged clothing. A 3D movie showes Catherine explaining life in those days and telling about her book of hours. Then there were all those fantastic pages out of the book of hours. These pages are so beautiful that you could keep on looking at them for a very long time. The illuminator depicted holy scenes in the scentre of the page and in the margins he showed scenes of daily life in those years.
It is a world-class book of hours that was unlocked before our eyes in this exhibition! So fabulous we can recommend everybody to go and see.

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