Love and eroticism in the library?

Leiden University Library is organising the exhibition  ‘Liefde en erotiek. Verleid door de collecties van de Universiteit Leiden’ (Love and eroticism. Seduced by the collections of Leiden University) from 25 March to 2 May 2010. Guided by drawings, prints and songs you will learn all about love, lust and courtesy in the 16th and 17th century. With this sensational theme, the new exhibition room opened on 25 March, in which the library shows a changing selection of Leiden University’s rich collections (on average 4 selections a year).

Love and eroticism in the 16th and 17th century

How did Eve persuade Adam to take a bite from the Apple? How did things turn out for Jupiter’s mistresses? How would a 17th century nobleman seduce you? And which words did poets use to let lovers turn their heads?
Love and erotisicm have exercised many minds for centuries. In art and literature they are an important, if not the most important theme. Love is a nearly inexhaustible source for painters, poets, print makers, musicians and playwriters. The exhibition points its arrows to the 16th and 17th century, an era in which numerous song and emblem collections were dedicated to love, in which mythological scenes dominated in thousands of prints and in which biblical characters would often be captured in a far more seductive picture than today’s pin-ups.

Some highlights at the exhibition are:

  • Drawings by Rembrandt, Abraham van Diepenbeeck, Jan Muller and Bartolomeus Spranger
  • Prints by Lucas van Leyden, Albrecht Dürer and Hans Sebald Beham
  • Song books by Starter, Bredero and Heinsius
  • Emblems by Cats amd Vaenius
  • An autograph manuscript by Joost van den Vondel

We thank the following organisations and individuals for helping us to realise the new exhibition room:

  • VSB Fonds
  • Fonds 1818
  • Springer Uitgeverij
  • Meyvaert Glass Engineering
  • Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde
  • Stichting Vrienden van de Leidse Universiteitsbibliotheek
  • Stichting Vrienden van het Prentenkabinet van de Universiteit Leiden
  • Dr. K.J.J. Korevaart
  • Prof.dr. H.M.J. Krans
  • Mr. T. Landheer

And many other friends...

Address and opening hours

You can visit the exhibition at:

Leiden University Library
Witte Singel 27
2311 BG Leiden

Th eexhibition room is located in the entrance area, next to the reception desk. Entrance is free and you can visit during opening hours of the building.

Relevant links

Last Modified: 16-06-2010