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

(1474) - In the dome above the high altar (altar mayor), Cathedral of Valencia.
vihuela de mano - 15cent/3/late - instrument 15-349a

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Artwork

Creator San Leocadio (Paolo da Reggio), Pablo de

Medium Artwork: Fresco

Location

City Valencia Region Valencia Old kingdom Aragon

Characteristics

Body Corners

Bridge Fixed

Strings 5 courses

Frets Yes

Neck Medium

Back Flat

Pegbox Sickle

Pegs Lateral

Technique Plucked fingers thumb out

Commentary

ARTWORK
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. 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.

INSTRUMENT
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): http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seu_angel_violademà.jpg
All the instruments are in detailed photos at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Catedral_de_València (consulted 23/01/2009)

Reproductions

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seu_angel_violademà.jpg

Bibliography