Angel playing vihuela. Fresco by Paolo de San Leocadio, 1472-1481.

(1474) - In the dome above the high altar (altar mayor), Cathedral of Valencia.
instrument: vihuela de mano | century: 15cent/3/late | catalogue nº: 15-349a

Previous Next

Creator San Leocadio (Paolo da Reggio), Pablo de

Medium Artwork: Fresco


City Valencia | Region Valencia | Old kingdom Aragon

Body Corners Strings 5 courses Neck Medium Pegbox Sickle
Bridge Fixed Frets Yes Back Flat Pegs Lateral
Technique Plucked fingers thumb out

This fresco was discovered in June 2004 during restoration of the Cathedral. It had been hidden above a baroque ceiling superimposed on top of it. Ballester reports that the contract for the work was signed in 1472 (Med-Ren, Brussels 2015) . The works were commissioned by Cardenal Rodrigo Borgia on 21 May 1496 and were realised by Paolo de San Leocadio during 12 years together with Francisco Pagano. The fresco is considered to be San Leocadio’s masterpiece. The paintings of the angel musicians are dated 1474.

This vihuela is one of a group of late fifteenth-century instruments with cornered waists, a soundhole very close to the top of the soundbox, and with a bridge similrly close to the lower extremem= of the body. It appears to be strung with five courses of strings and played the fingers in a position in which the thumb protrudes slightly in front of the index finger. The player appears to be playing a chord with the left hand.

The image (public domain):à.jpg
All the instruments are in detailed photos atència (consulted 23/01/2009)