Angel playing a vihuela.

Castronuño (Valladolid), Iglesia Mayor
instrument: vihuela de mano | century: 16cent | catalogue nº: 16-172

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Creator anon

Medium Artwork: Fresco


City Castronuño | Region Castilla-León | Old kingdom Castile

Body Corners Strings strings Neck Long Pegbox Angled flat
Bridge Fixed Frets Unclear Back Flat Pegs None
Technique Plucked

Fresco on the triumphal arch of the Iglesia Mayor, Castronuño (Valladolid). Although the only photograph consulted so far (shown here) is not detailed, it depicts to be of an angel playing a vihuela de mano. From the photo here, the instrument appears to be a vihuela de mano, plucked rather than bowed as described by Angel de la Lama [lama1981]. The arch is approx 2m wide and 4m high. The painting is described by Jesús Angel de la Lama [lama1981] and subsequent in the book [lama1982]. In the 1981 article, he describes the painting as “a fresco of immense symbolic and musical value: the anonymous brush that made it wished to depict the Holy Trinity crowning Our Lady, while a group of angel musicians play a concert of wind and string instruments.” [un fresco de inmenso valor simbólico y musical: el pincel anónimo que lo estampó quiso representar a la Santísima Trinidad coronando a Nuestra Señora, mientras un grupo de ángeles músicos interpretan un concierto con instrumentos de viento y cuerda.] Lama identifies two of the five angels musicians as playing trumpets, while he claims the other three play vihuela de arco, harp and organ with other angels holding the music from which they play. The precise date of the painting is unknown. Given the cornered waists, the painting is most likely to date from the first decades of the sixteenth century, but this cannot be substantiated.

The instrument has cornered waists, a flat bridge fixed near the bottom of the body and a circular soundhole above the waist. It has a long neck and a flat angled pagbox. Strings are visible but indistinct.

Reproductions (accessed 7/10/2019)