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Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus
Schola Cantorum Karolus Magnus is a Gregorian choir, established in Nijmegen in 1988 with the aim of preserving and promoting authentic Gregorian chant as a precious cultural and liturgical heritage. Karolus Magnus refers both to Charles the Great (the Emperor Charlemagne), who promoted the spread of Gregorian liturgy in Western Europe, and to the city of Nijmegen (the Carolingian city) where the emperor often stayed in his fortress on the River Waal.
Matthijs Munnik (1989)
Matthijs Munnik (1989 ) studied at the Academie Minerva in Groningen before doing his master’s at the interdisciplinary ArtScience faculty at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. He creates new forms of art in which technology and science play a role. His latest project, ‘Citadels: Lightscape’ (in which the viewer is entranced by coloured LED lights at specific frequencies) can be seen at the Sonic Acts festival in Amsterdam until 24 February 2013.
The Road to Van Eyck
This wonderful exhibition brings together works made around 1400 in North-Western Europa and which usher in painting as the highest form of art. Between 1425 and 1440, the brilliant painter Jan van Eyck managed to create the illusion of depth, light, texture – in short an almost tangible reality – with only a wooden plank, pigments and a binding agent. The exhibition can be seen at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen until 10 February 2013.
Jan van Eyck
Jan van Eyck was probably born around 1400 in Maaseik, on the border between Belgium and the current Dutch province Limburg. Nothing is known about his childhood and training. In 1422 he was the court painter of John III, Duke of Bavaria, who resided in The Hague as Count of Holland.
Following John’s death in 1425, Van Eyck entered the service of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, and completed the Lamb of God in Ghent, which was begun by his mysterious elder brother Hubert. At this time Jan van Eyck had a workshop together with his other brother Lambert and his sister Margaretha in Bruges. He died there in 1440 and was buried in St Donatian’s Cathedral. Click here for more information about Jan van Eyck and his period.
The Three Mary’s at the Tomb
The painting ‘The Three Marys at the Tomb’ has had an eventful history and still poses some unsolved riddles. The panel was originally larger; it is possible that Jesus once was depicted walking away to the right. It is not known who commissioned the painting or where it hung from c.1430 (when it was made) until 1850 (when it was discovered).
For a long time it was thought that the panel was painted by Hubert van Eyck, Jan’s mysterious elder brother, whom we know only from the ‘Lamb of God’ in Ghent. However, following the recent conservation the conclusion has been reached that the painting must be by Jan van Eyck.
Who are The Three Mary’s?
The Mary with the blue cloak is indeed, as the singers noted, the mother of Jesus. The other two are her half-sisters, Mary Salome and Mary Cleophas. Mary Magdalene is always depicted at the Crucifixion and the Deposition from the Cross but is not one of the women who visited the tomb in the early hours of Easter Sunday.
For as long as mankind has existed, he has turned his head upwards – to the sky, the clouds, the sun, moon and stars, in search of a sign to guide him. Something. In the Middle Ages – as Bregje explains to a Gregorian choir in episode 5 of Boijmans TV 2013 – the gaze is directed only towards God and the afterlife. It was not until around 1400 that artists begun to discover the beauty of the world around them. But because they were not interested in landscapes or building before this time, they were not immediately able to create the illusion of depth and light.
Bregje and the male choir think it mysterious that only a little later the painter Jan van Eyck was able to do that so convincingly. Meanwhile Arie sees a puzzling artwork in one of the galleries. It resembles a laboratory set-up, with monitors, tubes and microscopes. When he discovers that living worms are responsible for the dark song emanating from the installation, he asks the artist, Matthijs Munnik, how he would feel if he were in their place. That should be the function of the work!
Although it’s an icy winter’s day, both Mandy and the ‘bouncer’ have taken up position at their regular posts. Neither of them appears to be concerned about that ‘something’ up above. Or does Mandy know more than she wants us to believe?
Boijmans TV is a collaborative project of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, RTV Rijnmond and Ro Theater, developed with support from the VSBfonds and the Mediafonds. The series is produced by the Rotterdam production office Popov Film.
Sander Burger (final editing)
Kuba Szutkowski (producer)
Dragan Bakema (creative producer)
Edgar Kapp (production manager)
Jetse Batelaan (director of tours)
Wilfried de Jong (concept and interviews)
Els Hoek (research and editing)
And many others.