The Art Treasures of Haarlem’s Chamber of Rhetoric
This year, Haarlem’s Chamber of Rhetoric Trou moet Blycken celebrates its fifth centenary. Rhetoricians used to recite poetry and perform morality plays on feast days. Every year national drama contests, known as landjuwelen, were held where prizes were awarded. In 1606 it was Haarlem’s turn to play host. This is how Trou moet Blycken came by its art treasures: 15 shields showing moralistic scenes, some silver and a book collection. The shields were carried in when the participants made their entrance at the Haarlem drama contest in 1606 and were presented to Trou. Each shield bore a moralistic scene, coats of arms and the motto of the respective chamber. Chambers of Rhetoric from well-known cities took part in the Haarlem contest, but so did some villages from South Holland. These rare shields are included in the exhibition, as is a collection of special 18th-century commemorative glasses belonging to Trou. Nowadays Trou is a gentlemen’s club.