General information


2000 Antwerp

Opening hours

From 19 August to 22 November 2015


Opening hours


10am - 5pm


10am - 3pm

SU 1pm - 4pm


Admission to the Cathedral and exhibition included.

Rates Target groups
€ 6 General fee
€ 4 60+
Groups (starting from 20 persons)
€ 2 Multimediaguide


Buy your tickets online and pay €6, multimedia guide included. 

Online reservations for group visits required.

T 0032 3 292 36 80




Petrus Alamire. Polyphony in the picture


Date 19/08/2015 - 22/11/2015

The recently restored Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady will host an exhibition where unique illuminated music manuscripts and masterpieces of Flemish primitives will converge, embedded in a digital multimedia world.

The exhibition has been extended until Wednesday November 25th, 2015.


Campaign image Petrus Alamire Peter Imhoff (ca 1470 – 1536), also known as Petrus Alamire, was born into a well-known merchant family in Nuremberg, where he was presumably trained as a musician and music copyist. Following family members travelling on business, he journeyed to the Low Countries shortly before 1500, where he was commissioned to produce music manuscripts for Margaret of Austria and Archduke Charles (later emperor Charles V). He turns up as a businessman, a spy for Henry VIII and a courier for Erasmus and other humanists. He also kept personal contacts with several European courts and with powerful merchants and bankers. This network ensured that the music manuscripts, still famous today, were disseminated throughout Europe from Flanders.

Choirbooks in the Antwerp Cathedral

Taking advantage of seven extraordinary music manuscripts from the workshop of Petrus Alamire, preserved in our country, you can get immersed in the Flanders and the Europe of around 1500, getting acquainted with the rulers, composers, musicians, the arts and the world view. These choir- and songbooks from which the singers sang straightaway, will be given visual and auditory life. Not only will you see the skill with which they were made, but by virtue of digital images of the most beautiful pages and the most splendid details you will be in a position to access the whole manuscript to boot. Aided by a headphone you will enter a universe from 500 years ago, pride of place evidently being given to music and polyphony. After the seven case stories you can enjoy total immersion into the sound world of early 16th-century polyphony. Walking through a sound and video installation by artist  Rudi Knoops, you will experience the polyphonic texture of the music, as a whole or as a multitude of individual musical lineaments, seeing the musicians at work. The story of the manuscript will be further illustrated by artworks (and objects) from the collection of Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Antwerp. On view will be works by Gerard David, Bernard van Orley, Ambrosius Benson and others. 

This exhibition is the result of years of research by the Alamire Foundation, the Centre for the Study of Music in the Low Countries affiliated with the Catholic University of Leuven and is part of the Laus Polyphoniae Festival. Paul Vandenbroeck made the selection of artworks from the collection of the museum. 


Petrus Alamire. Polyphony in the Picture

  • Gerard David, The Rest on the Flight into Egypt (click to enlarge; use the escape key to close the window)

    Gerard David, The Rest on the Flight into Egypt

  • Ambrosius Benson, Deipara Virgo (click to enlarge; use the escape key to close the window)

    Ambrosius Benson, Deipara Virgo

  • Bernard van Orley, The Seven Sorrows of Mary (click to enlarge; use the escape key to close the window)

    Bernard van Orley, The Seven Sorrows of Mary

  • Anonymous, Mary (click to enlarge; use the escape key to close the window)

    Anonymous, Mary

  • Anonymous, Adoration of the Sacrament (click to enlarge; use the escape key to close the window)

    Anonymous, Adoration of the Sacrament

Museum offices

Lange Kievitstraat 111-113 bus 100, B-2018 Antwerpen

T +32 (0)3 224 95 50