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Reynard the Fox – A Short History of the Medieval Beast Epic

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Phoebus Focus IV

Van den vos Reynaerde — ‘Of Reynard the Fox’ — is an animal fable or beast epic written in the thirteenth century. The thirteenth-century fox is an archetypal anti-hero: a crafty villain — worse, a murderer — whose actions ruthlessly expose the hypocrisy of the establishment. The Phoebus Foundation’s collection includes a fund of some four hundred items, each of which is a translation or adaptation of the original Reynard story. From sixteenth-century chapbooks to Goethe to Louis Paul Boon, the fox never dies.


Niels Schalley (1989) studied art history and theology at the KU Leuven and Goethe University Frankfurt. He is now a project coordinator at The Phoebus Foundation. He oversaw the organization of the exhibitions The Birth of Capitalism. The Golden Age of Flanders and Rooted. Flemish Art 1880-1930, both in the Provincial Cultural Centre Caermersklooster in Ghent (2016-2017), and From Memling to Rubens and Crazy about Dymphna (2021 — Tallinn, Estonia, Kadriorg Art Museum and Niguliste Museum). He was also closely involved in the large-scale cultural-heritage projects Fox Hunt! An Expedition into the Land of Reynard (2018 — Waasland) and Lace is More. Five Centuries of Cultural History Undressed (2019 — Moorsel, Waterkasteel). In 2022 he led the organization of the Crazy about Dymphna exhibition in Geel and, in the United States, the development of Saints, Sinners, Lovers and Fools. 300 Years of Flemish Masterpieces (2022/2023 — Denver Art Museum and Dallas Museum of Art).


  • 21 x 14,8 cm
  • 64 pagina's
  • Softcover met flappen
  • Quadrichromie
  • Engelstalige editie
  • ISBN 978 94 6436 678 5

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