Vihuelist angel. Anonymous, Valencian, detail.

Valencia: Private Collection. Current location unknown.
instrument: vihuela de arco | century: 15cent/3/late 16cent/1/early | catalogue nº: 15-327b

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Creator anon

Medium Artwork: Painting


City Valencia | Region Valencia | Old kingdom Aragon

Body Corners Strings 6 strings Neck Long Pegbox Flat leaf
Bridge Fixed Frets Back Flat Pegs Front
Technique Bowed a gamba

Female figure playing vihuela. Detail from an anonymous ‘Coronation of the Virgin’ by a painter of the Valencian School, perhaps by the Maestro de San Lázaro. Woodfield suggests it as early 16th century; Bordas suggests late 15th-century by Bordas. The work is only known through old photographs, possibly held in the Archivo de Fotografía of the Instituto de Arte (CSIC). The painting includes both vihuela de mano (15-327a) and this vihuela de arco.

The instrument is painted with a high level of detail. Available reproduced images, however, are very dark and do not permit detailed description. The body is long and narrow, probably at least 10cm deep, and with cornered waists. The soundboard is decorated with tarceas, and ther appear to be two soundholes, one in the centre in the middle of the waists, and another in the middle of the upper bout. It has a flat bridge (hence the probable earlier dating being correct) quit close to the bottom. There are six strings tied to the bridge. The neck is short (neck/body join at 6th or 7th fret), finishing in a leaf-shaped pegbox with pegs inserted from the top.