Medium Artwork: Painting
City Castelsardo, Sardinia Region Italy Old kingdom Aragon
Strings 6 strings
Technique Plucked fingers thumb in
Tempera and oil on wood with gold background. Dates from before 1492. The vihuelist is one of six large and three small angel musicians who surround the Madonna and Child that forms the central panel of the Retablo di Castelsardo, in the Cattedrale di Sant'Antonio abate, Castelsardo Sardinia, by the Maestro di Castelsardo.
The angel is depicted playing a small vihuela of similar construction and appearance to the other two vihuelas painted by the same artist. Body: shallow, incurved waists with both bouts of approximately the same width. At the lower end of the soundboard is a small fixed bridge small with the strings tied to it and located close to the bottom of the soundboard. The one small soundhole placed close to the top of the soundboard with its centre at the widest point of the upper bout. It has a long neck with 8 or more frets. The length of the neck suggests that it joins the body at about the 14th fret. The neck ends with a sickle-shaped pegbox that has !0 or more pegs are visible. Six strings are clearly shown in front of the plucking hand. The plucking position of the right hand shows the thumb and index finger in almost the same plane, although it might be an indication of thumb-under technique. The left hand fingers are not painted in any set position. The shallow ribs and the the colour of the neck (the same as the body) suggest that it may have been a monoxylic construction.
Griffiths, John. “Guárdame las vacas”. Diccionario de la música española e hispanoamericana. Ed. Emilio Casares Rodicio. Madrid: Sociedad General de Autores y Editores, 1999-2002. Vol. 5, 937-38 (1999).