El tañedor de vihuela

(1635 ca) - Museo del Prado, Madrid, cat. no 1224
instrument: vihuela de mano / guitarra | century: 17cent/1/early | catalogue nº: 17-132

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Creator Miel, Jan

Medium Artwork: Painting


City Rome | Region Italy | Old kingdom Italy

Body Waisted Strings strings Neck Medium Pegbox Angled flat
Bridge Fixed Frets Unclear Back Not visible Pegs Rear
Technique Plucked fingers thumb out

El tañedor de vihuela, painted by Jan Miel, in Rome probably between 1630 and 1650. Oil on canvas measuring 67 x 50 cm. Provenance is the Colección Real.

Housed in the Prado, this painting is called El tañedor de vihuela but, if it were painted in Rome, as is most likely, then it is probably a picture of a 5-course guitar similar to those made by Sellas etc at that time. Recent cataloguing in Spain has seen this instrument described on the Prado website as a vihuela de mano, but this is unlikely given the Italian provenance of the painting. Notwithstanding, it is an instrument that could quite easily be taken as a vihuela, although the width of the bridge is not typical of 16th-century instruments. From the digital image it is not possible to determine the number of strings or pegs, and given the small size of the painting it is likely that these are not exact.