Gentleman playing a vihuela (1535)

(1535) - Luys de Castillo, Canción. (Medina del Campo, 1535).
instrument: vihuela de mano | century: 16cent/2/mid | catalogue nº: 16-217

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Medium Artwork: Woodcut


City Medina del Campo | Region Castilla-León | Old kingdom Castile

Body Waisted Strings 5 courses Neck Medium Pegbox R/Angled flat
Bridge Fixed Frets Unclear Back Flat Pegs Front
Technique Plucked fingers

Woodcut of a gentleman playing a vihuela published in Luys de Castillo, Canción hecha por luys de castillo con su glosa. (Medina del Campo, 1535).

It is described in ward1953, 14. The version here is a more refined version of the same design used by Francisco Díaz Romano in 1535 in Milán’s Libro de motes de damas y caballeros (16-241). Another version is used in 1603 (17-130). It is also used in 16-217,

The image shown here is from Salvá y Mallén, Catálogo de la Biblioteca de Salvá (salva1872, p. 6) available in Google Books.

The vihuela is well proportioned, with quite a long body, although quite narrow. The upper and lower bouts are approximately equal width. The bridge is place very low on the body. The neck is short (neck-body join at about 10th fret) and the pegbox is bent back at right angles, with 3 pegs shown, seemingly inserted from the top. The instrument appears to have 5 strings, but this is not certain.