Angel playing vihuela. Detail. Juan de Juanes

(1565) - Valencia: Colección Vicente Lassala.
instrument: vihuela de mano | century: 16cent/2/mid | catalogue nº: 16-212

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Creator Juanes, Juan de

Medium Artwork: Painting


City Valencia | Region Valencia | Old kingdom Aragon

Body Waisted Strings 6 courses Neck Long Pegbox Angled flat
Bridge Fixed Frets Yes Back Flat Pegs Rear
Technique Plucked fingers thumb out

This angel playing a vihuela is a detail from the painting known as “La Virgen y el niño entre San Juan Bautista y Santiago” [The Virgin and Chold between St John the Baptist and St James] painted by Juan Macip, known as Juan de Juanes, c. 1565, and currently in the collection of Vicente Lassala in Valencia. The angel is s small figure located in the upper left corner of the painting.

This is a carefully painted representation of an unusual vihuela, quite large, and most noticeable for its two sound holes and the decoration of the fingerboard.The instrument has 6 courses (not 5 as a claimed by Bordas). Given the darkness of the painting, some of the details are difficult to distinguish with clarity. The two sound holes are placed above and below the waist, almost equidistant. The lower hole is larger. The bridge is close to the lower extremity. The neck is very long, with the join of the neck and body being at approximately the twelfth fret, at least. This is a clear example of an instrument being played thumb-out.