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Haute Lecture by Colard Mansion. Innovating Text and Image in Medieval Bruges

The Groeningemuseum and the Public Library of Bruges are pleased to announce their upcoming exhibition “Haute Lecture by Colard Mansion”. It will take place in the Groeningemuseum in Bruges from 1st March to 3 June 2018.

The core of the exhibition is the oeuvre of Colard Mansion (fl. ca. 1457 - 1484), a scribe, manuscript entrepreneur and author in Bruges, who, after a brief collaboration with William Caxton, goes into printing. The exhibition will address Late Medieval book production in Bruges, with a special focus on continuity, disruption, and hybrid books. As Mansion was one of the first printers to experiment with engraved illustrations in his incunables, the exhibition will discuss techniques in book production and illustration. Finally, the exhibition will consider the interdisciplinary professional networks involved in the production of art works in Bruges.

The city of Bruges holds a significant collection of incunabula by Mansion. With the exceptional support of the Bibliothèque nationale de France and other lending institutions around the world, we will be able to gather the complete oeuvre of Mansion for the first time in over 500 years. These key items, ranging from the most modest to the most luxurious of books, will be accompanied by about a hundred other contemporary objects of the highest quality: iconic incunables (e.g. the first book printed in English), manuscripts (e.g. the oldest dated example of the “Ghent-Bruges” illumination style), bindings (e.g. the Hildesheim “Codex Rotundus”), engravings (e.g. Master W with the Key’s Burgundian court scenes), and paintings by the so-called Flemish Primitives. And audio-visual displays and contemporary tools (e.g. 15th century matrices for casting type) will offer a look behind the scenes of the medieval printing shop.

In joining different kinds of knowledge and expertise, the Groeningemuseum and the Public Library of Bruges aim to create a renewed interest in the historical figure of Colard Mansion, and to match recent scholarly developments regarding material conditions of printing and European networks of book production with a specific focus on the cultural context of Late Medieval Flanders.

For more information:

Curators: Evelien de Wilde, Evelien Hauwaerts, Ludo Vandamme. Members of the Scientific Committee: Lotte Hellinga (British Library), Cristina Dondi (University of Oxford), Johan Oosterman (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen), Renaud Adam (Université de Liège), Christoph Metzger (Albertina Wien), Dominique Vanwijnsberghe (Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage Belgium), Eberhard König (Freie Universität Berlin), Anne Dubois (Université Catholique de Louvain), Till-Holger Borchert (Groeningemuseum), Lieve de Kesel (Universiteit Gent), Hanno Wijsman (Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire de Textes Paris), Huigen Leeflang (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam), Nathalie Coilly (Bibliothèque nationale de France).