Angel guitarist from “La Presentación de Jesús en el Templo.” painted by Diego Valentin Díaz. 1600-1650.

(1601-1650) - Valladolid: Museo Nacional de Escultura San Gregorio de pintura.
instrument: guitarra | century: 17cent/1/early | catalogue nº: 17-123a

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Creator Díaz, Diego Valentín

Medium Artwork: Painting


City Valladolid | Region Castilla-León | Old kingdom Castile

Body Waisted Strings 5 courses Neck Medium Pegbox Angled flat
Bridge Fixed Frets Unclear Back Pegs Rear
Technique Plucked fingers thumb in

“La Presentación de Jesús en el Templo.” (dated between 1601-1650). Oil on Canvas, 220 x 160 cm Valladolid, Museo Nacional de Escultura San Gregorio. Inventory no CE1742. The painting depicts the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple as told in the Gospel of St Luke. This is the point where in the story the chant “Nunc dimitis, Domine” is sung. The Museum record describes the instruments being played (from left to right) as “un arpa española de las llamadas de dos ordenes, de gran importancia en la música de los siglos XV a XVIII, representadas aquí con tal grado de detalles que convierte al lienzo en un testimonio musicológico altamente interesante; un laúd; una viola da braccio, de tipo italiano; y una guitarra española.” For full details about this painting, go to: and search the inventory number <CE1742>.

• Angel with 5-course guitar.
• The instrument is similar to many 16th-century vihuelas, although the decoration around the sound hole is characteristic of guitars of the first half of the 17th century.
• The single rosette is very close to the centre of the soundboard; the bridge close to the lower edge
• It is difficult to evaluate the playing technique. It could be used as an example of thumb-under figueta extranjera but equally it may be an attempt to depict strumming, especially given that the left hand appears to be holding a chord position
• The other instruments in the ensemble in this scene are: a large lute, a vihuela de brazo, and a double harp.

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