Angel playing vihuela

(1262) - Salamanca, Catedral vieja, Capilla del Aceite.
instrument: vihuela de péñola | century: 13cent | catalogue nº: 13-201

Previous Next

Creator Sánchez de Segovia, Antonio

Medium Artwork: Fresco


City Salamanca | Region Castilla-León | Old kingdom Castile

Body Corners Strings 4 strings Neck Long Pegbox Sickle?
Bridge Obscured Frets No Back Pegs
Technique Plucked

Late 13th century fresco attributed to Antonio Sánchez de Segovia in the old cathedral in Salmanca, in the Capilla de San Martín, also known as the Capilla de Aceite.

This is one of the few illustrations from before 1400 that show an instrument approximating a renaissance vihuela. Alvarez (alvarez1982, 868-869), describes it as having “waisted sides, long neck, 4 strings, curved pegbox terminating in an animal head. Played by an angel”. Alvarez cites the work as anonymous. Acording to Pepe Rey (lecture Madrid, 24 March 1998) this work dates from 1272. The painting appears to have been retouched several times and therefore needs to be taken with a certain amount of caution. From the available reproductions, it is difficult to tell whether it is being played with the fingers or with a plectrum, although the latter is more probable.