The nights are getting colder, so be careful that you’re not lured into the forest by a captivating song just like Machteld in the Song of Lord Halewijn. A group of artists (including my collaborative work with Wes Hobday) created works about this tale, the results will be exhibited in 27 days! It’s quite gruesome, here’s an easy-to-read version from Ansuharijaz on Reginheim (our version is slightly different). Some of the drawings will be a surprise, but you can see selected works in progress on the liedekijn tumblr.
Halewijn’s story has inspired many variations and drawings. I recently saw Hermann Metzger’s prints in Charles de Coster’s Herr Halewijn (translated by Albert Wesselski). Metzger created 19 etchings (20 if you include the cover) that illustrate the story from Halewijn acquiring the spell, to murdering women and Machteld’s response.
The beautiful etchings balance a warm background of plate tone against the pure white of the valiant horse, carrying the boldly outlined Machteld (and her dubious trophy) through the pages.
The deckle edges of the paper echo a jagged dirt path through a forest that barely contains the energy of the drawings (all hand signed by Metzger, quite a feat as there were 500 of these limited editions). Halewijn’s body dances with the spell as he struggles to maintain his new-found beauty and ensuing thirst for maidens’ blood. I wish I had paid more attention in German class, as I can only understand the names of the characters Halewijn and Machteld.
We’d love to see you at the liedekijn exhibition opening at the Front Gallery and Café, details at the Facebook event. If you can’t make it to the opening or the exhibition, the works have also been made into a wonderful art book which you can buy from the liedekijn big cartel site.