Renaissance Children at the Museum Hof van Busleyden

March 16 2021

Image of Renaissance Children at the Museum Hof van Busleyden

Picture: Museum Hof van Busleyden

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Museum Hof van Busleyden, Mechelen, in Belgium will be opening their latest exhibition this month on Renaissance Children: Art and Education at the Habsburg Court in Mechelen.

According to a translation made by

Mechelen was not only an important political and cultural hub for Burgundian and early Habsburg rulers, it was a center of education too. Three successive generations of Habsburg princes and princesses spent part of their childhood there. When Philip the Fair died in 1506 and his wife, Joanna of Castile, was pronounced mad, four of the couple’s children – Eleanor (of Austria), Charles (V), Mary (of Hungary) and Isabella (of Austria) – were sent to Mechelen to be raised by their aunt, Margaret of Austria, regent of the Habsburg Netherlands. When Isabella of Austria died in 1526, her three children with King Christian II of Denmark – John, Dorothy and Christine – were also taken to Mechelen. Margaret of Austria herself, together with her brother Philip the Fair, had spent part of her youth in the city too, at the court of Margaret of York. The regent’s court enjoyed such an excellent educational reputation that great families from all over Europe sent their children there, the best known of whom was Anne Boleyn. The future queen of England came to Mechelen in 1513, where she learned amongst other things to dance and to speak French.

The exhibition Renaissance Children will use artworks, books, prints, letters, jewelry and everyday items to present a unique insight into the education, emotions and identity of children during the transition from the Middle Ages to the early modern era.

The exhibition will run from 26th March - 4th July 2021.

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