Angel lutenist, detail from “Aparición de la Virgen a una comunidad de dominicos”, Pedro Berruguete, 1493-1499

(1493-1499) - Museo Nacional del Prado
instrument: lute | century: 15cent/3/late | catalogue nº: 15-364

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Creator Berruguete, Pedro

Medium Artwork: Painting


City | Region | Old kingdom

Body Lute Strings Unclear Neck Short Pegbox Scroll
Bridge Fixed Frets Unclear Back Vaulted Pegs Lateral
Technique Plucked fingers thumb in

Aparición de la Virgen a una comunidad de dominicos. Oil on wood 130 x 86 cm, painted 1493-1499. Now in the Prado in Madrid (catalogue no P000615), originally painted for the Monastery of Santo Tomás in Ávila. The commentary on the Prado website gives much detail of the possible reasons for the painting being prepared for Santo Tomás and the early Dominicans who were pursued by demons, as well as detailed commentary of the painter’s technique. Specifically, the painting represents, in addition to two of these attacks, the beginning of the Saturday song of the Salve by the community in front of an altar with a sculpture of the Virgin Mary and Child, and the miraculous apparition of the Virgin surrounded by angel musicians, which the faithful contemplate from the door that opens on the left.

The Virgin is surrounded by a group that comprises angels playing (clockwise) lute, pipe and tabor, tambourine, 2 shawms and rabel (rebec).

The lute is stylised as a long almond shape, possibly monoxyl given the manner it joins the neck. It has a short neck that terminates in a scroll pegbox. It is plucked with the fingers with thumb-in technique.