Search

Angel playing vihuela, from Retablo della Porziuncola, Maestro di Castelsardo.

(1492after) - Cagliari, Sardinia, Pinacoteca Nazionale, inventory no D18
vihuela de mano - 15cent/3/late 16cent/1/early - instrument 15-324b

Previous Next
Artwork

Creator anon

Medium Artwork: Painting

Location

City Cagliari, Sardinia Region Italy Old kingdom Aragon

Characteristics

Body Waisted

Bridge Fixed

Strings 6 strings

Frets Yes

Neck Long

Back Flat

Pegbox Obscured

Pegs Obscured

Technique Plucked fingers

Commentary

ARTWORK
Tempera and oil on wood with gold background. Dated after 1492. Size of remaining fragments 389 x 272 cm. The figure playing the vihuela is a male angel, and is one of six intrumentalists who probably flanked the central panel of the retablo. More information about the painting from http://www.pinacoteca.cagliari.beniculturali.it/index.php?it/99/ricerca-avanzata/19/retablo-della-porziuncola accessed 25/03/2018

INSTRUMENT
This vihuela is highly consistent with the other two painted by the Master of Castelsardo (15-301a, 15-360). The body is small with purfled edges and incurved waists, and both bouts of about the same width. It has a fixed bridge with the strings clearly tied to it, and a single soundhole with rosette centred at the widest point of the upper bout. The soundbox is decidedly shallow. The neck is curtailed and the pegbox is not shown. The instrument is being plucked close to the bridge with thumb and index fingers in the same plane, neither thumb-in nor thumb-out. The thickness and colour of the neck, the same as the ribs, could be evidence of monoxylic construction.

An excellent digital reproduction was available at Sardegna Digital Library but could not be found on return investigation on 25/03/2018.

Reproductions

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mestre_Castelsardo_ret.Porciúncula_1492_9744.jpg?uselang=it

Bibliography