... and know that I can be your minstrel.. (Testudo)
Peter De Cleyn ... and know that I can be your minstrel..
baked and tormented earth, pigments
(45 x 19 x 15 cm)
"A minne-caress, a caress of love. A beautiful play on words. Do I see an elegant foot in the work of art under a graceful bow that I fantasize about it? Unlike in the word minne-singer, the 'min' of min-streel has nothing to do with love, but with a minister, a servant. A minstrel was already employed in the Middle Ages by a lord of the castle with a fixed set of duties: musical and other entertainment. Troubadours and trouvères, later also Minnesänger, were their own (aristocratic) boss Usually of nobility, they were highly educated and they mainly sang about courtly love, the fin'amors . King-poet Thibaut de Champagne (1201-1253) is such a trouvère. His sixty songs are collected in the ' Chansonnier du roi ' from the 13th century. The canzo or love song ' Nus hom ne peut' reminds me of that foot. In the chorus of that canzo the man humbly throws himself at the feet of the Lady: ' Dame merci, donnez-moi esperance de joie avoir' . 'Lady, have mercy, give me hope of joy'. The poet wants to fall into the grace of his chosen lady, in most cases unattainable because she is married. The poet puts aside his male ego to submit himself literary to his chosen one. Completely new in the time where macho knights were in charge."