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Valencia Celebrates the 600th Anniversary of Knight Joanot Martorell with Exhibition
A woman walks behind a luxury horse saddle of Vladislav Postum, King of Bohemia and Hungary, on display in an exhibition, entitled Joanot Martorell y el Otono de la Caballeria (lit. Joanot Martorell and the Autumn of the Cavalry) at the Carme Centre in Valencia, Spain. The saddle was made in Germany in 1455 with wood, ivory and leather. Joanot Martorell (1413-1468) was a Valencian knight and the author of of the novel Tirant lo Blanc. EPA/MANUEL BRUQUE.

VALENCIA.- The Joanot Martorell year, commemorating the 600 anniversary of the birth of the author and Valencian knight -ends with an outstanding show that evokes the atmosphere of chivalry in which he lived and which inspired his masterpiece and one of the most representative of the Golden Age of the Valencian language: "Tirant lo Blanch." Through more than a hundred works of art and objects from the period loaned by twenty-three European institutions, the exhibition starts in the court of Alfonso the Magnanimous in Valencia and Naples and then moves on to the English court of Westminster to recreate the scenes that marked his "life experience" and remembers "the end of an era”.

The Centre del Carme in Valencia opened yesterday the exhibition Joanot Martorell and the Autumn of the Cavalry (until March 13), an exhibition that recreates the life of the writer and knight in three scenarios. The exhibition has been curated by Eduard Mira and Christian Beaufort.

The exhibition brings together approximately 132 works of art, including tapestries, glittering paintings from the era, along with swords, saddles and other articles used by the cavalry of the time. The items on view have been brought from important collections, such as the Madrid Archaeological Museum, the Imperial Armory of the Art and History Museum of Vienna, the Army Museum in Toledo and the Cathedral of Valencia, among others.

Martorell participated in the failed attempt of the Crown of Aragon to conquered Naples from Sicily in 1434. He pent two years in London, and there challenged his cousin Joan of Monpalau to a duel for breach of promise to marry his sister Damiata (he faced a similar problem with Ausias March, but the matter was resolved peacefully: the poet finally agreed to get married to his sister Elizabeth). The duel never took place because Monpalau backed down and paid financial compensation, but Joanot Martorell ordered an expensive armor in Milan (a piece from the same era and manufacturer can be seen in the exhibition, including more than one hundred objects lent by Spanish and European institutions).

Joanot Martorell | Valencia | The Centre del Carme |

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January 3, 2011

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