This beautiful water well is situated right next to the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, yet it is often overlooked by tourists.
The Gothic iron work for the well dates to 1490 and was crafted by Quinten Matsijs, who is better known as a Master Painter and founder of the Antwerp School.
The story goes that when the young Matsijs first came to Antwerp as a blacksmith, he fell in love with Catherina Heyns, the daughter of a fine arts painter. However, her father was of the opinion that a smith was beneath the standing of his daughter. Matsijs therefore retrained as a painter (eventually becoming one of the best known painters of his day) and thus won approval to marry Catherina.
The Neo-Gothic well itself, made by the city’s master builder Gustave Royers in 1900, bears reference to this tale. The inscription reads: “The iron work for this well was wrought by Quinten Matsijs. Love made of the smith a painter.”
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