Vihuelist performing romances

(1525/ca) - Current whereabouts unknown
instrument: vihuela de mano | century: 16cent/1/early | catalogue nº: 16-128

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Creator anon

Medium Artwork: Woodcut


City Barcelona | Region Catalonia | Old kingdom Aragon

Body Waisted Strings 5 strings Neck Long Pegbox None
Bridge Fixed Frets Yes Back Flat Pegs None
Technique Plucked fingers thumb out

Woodcut on the title page of Libro en el qual se contienen cincuenta romances con sus villancicos y desechas, Barcelona c. 1525. The same woodcut was used on a broadsheet printed by Carles Amorós, Barcelona, n.d. [c.1525]. The vihuela is clearly based on the one depicted in the Vocabolari Catalan of 1502 [16-113].

Depiucted with five strings, it is easier to group this instrument into the generic family of vihuelas rather than to attempt to distinguish it as either a vihuela or a guitar. It is typical of depictions from the first half of the q6th century.
The vihuelist appears to be accompanying a lady who is depicted with her mouth open, singing. The composition of the print, however, shows that each of the two figures is a separate block, and may not have been intended originally to be placed together. The vihuelist is clothed as a gentleman with a hat with a plume, and a long cape over a tunic. The pegbox of the vihuela is not shown. The vihuela appears to be flatbacked, and shallow. Its two bouts are approximately equal width, abd has a fixed bridge and a rosette placed above the centre of the upper bout. The neck is long and incomplete.