Vihuela. Detail from an early 16th century Catalan (Spanish) painting, "St. Vincent enthroned with music making angels", by the Master of Javierre. Painting is located in the Museo Diocesano, Lleida (Lérida).

Lleid (Lérida): Museo Diocesano.
instrument: vihuela de arco | century: 16cent/1/early | catalogue nº: 16-140

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Creator Maestro de Javierre

Medium Artwork: Painting


City Lérida | Region Catalonia | Old kingdom Aragon

Body Corners Strings 4 strings Neck Long Pegbox Obscured
Bridge Tailpiece Frets Unclear Back Flat Pegs Obscured
Technique Bowed a braccio

See full details in 16-137. One of the four main instruments in the painting. Played by an angel. Alvarez suggests if to be from the 15th century, but it seems more likely to be from the early 16th (alvarez1982, 1085).

This instrument is painted with considerable detail. It is a shallow soundbox with cornered waists with a circular soundhole placed in the centre. It has a flat bridge with the strings attached to a tailpiece, with what appear to be three double courses. (This is strongly suggestive of a fifteenth-century origin). The purfling around the joins of the soundboard and back to the ribs suggests an instrument made from multiple pieces. The neck is long and the nut and pegbox are hidden. The angel musician plays with a long bow across all the strings. It appears to have faintly depicted frets tied to the neck. The bow is a quite thick piece of wood.



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