Boy from Princenhage finds his luck in Antwerp
Who is Gielis Beys?
Gielis Beys was born into a prosperous family, being the son and grandson of Princenhage aldermen. Like many people in the 16th century, Gielis moved to Antwerp in the hopes of finding fortune. In 1564 Gielis started working as a servant in the printing house owned by the famous Christoffel Plantijn. Christoffel was the chief printer for King Phillip II of Spain, his most important work being the Biblia Regia (King’s Bible). A few years later, Gielis married Plantijn’s daughter Madeleine. At that time Gielis was in charge of the Plantijn bookshop in Paris, but he argued a lot with his father-in-law. As a consequence, Gielis and his family ended up living in poverty for many years.
Nick van Steen (Radical Artworks) and Jonno Vaes created this colourful, typographical tribute to Gielis in the Gielis Beijsstraat.