Servir Antico's 

Viewer-friendly Organology & Iconography Resource


a Voyage into the Organology & Imagination of the long Renaissance


By Catalina Vicens


In line with ensemble Servir Antico, my purpose is to bring the work of creative and visionary minds from the past (in form of music, literature and art) to the the spotlight and to transform it into inspiration for the future.


The idea here is to share musical images found in manuscripts, prints, paintings and sculpture as part of their artistic and functional context. In this site I don’t want to take the place of an art historian, and although I use iconography and organology as part of my research, it is not the intention of this site to serve as a form of research output.


There is religious related content in this site, but it does not serve any particular religious view.


Catalina Vicens

September 18, 2019

Enjoy the multi-sensory experience! 

Another exquisite Royal Book of Hours from 15th century France...

Fitzwilliam Museum MS 62, The Hours of Isabella Stuart, France, Angers ca. 1431.

The Five Joys of the Virgin.

July 15, 2019

After over a year of silence (although Servir Antico's Facebook page has served also as depository of images), I return to this blog with another Book of Hours from 15th century France.

This manuscript, illuminated by the master of the 'Heures de Louis de Savoie' and an anonymous Flemish artist, is absolutely exquisite. Not only the amount of skillfully ornate pages have called my attention, (I was impressed over and ove...

June 8, 2018

This Commentary produced at during the last years of the 11th century at the Benedictine monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos (Burgos, Spain) contains a colorful version of Apocalypse by Beatus of Liébana. Also commented with beautiful initials, graphs and fantasy-filled illustrations are the few folios of Mozarabic antiphonary, Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae as well Jerome's commentary on Daniel....

June 5, 2018

These musician hybrids come from a very small Book of Hours made for a woman at the diocese of Cambrai at the turn of the 14th century. The humorous images also illustrate the playing of games, including what is known as the earliest image of tennis players.

The Walters  Art Museum, W.88, Book of Hours

June 5, 2018

The vibrant colors and lines of the illuminations in this psalter are a good example of the fine High Gothic art. Although there are not many musical instruments depicted among the full-page illustrations, the musicians in this B [eatus]  initial combine both the static and dynamic elements, that make the sound emerge our from the page. 

The Rheinau Psalter, Zürich, Zentralbibliothek Ms. Rh. 167, High Gothic,...

May 30, 2018

The Prayer Book of Bonne of Luxembourg, Duchess of Normandy. Attributed to Jean Le Noir (French, active 1331–75) and Workshop, Paris before 1349. 

Met Museum, 69.86

April 12, 2018

This Carolingian Psalter is one of the most significant illustrated manuscripts from this period. With most of its pages filled with generous images depicting the Book of Psalms, it is also a jewel for organologists for containing, amongst others, some of the earliest representations of medieval organs. 

Stuttgarter Psalter - Cod.bibl.fol.23

Erscheinungsort: Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Signatur Cod.bibl.fol.23

November 30, 2017

BNF, Département des manuscrits, Français 143, Evrart de Conty, Le livre des échecs amoureux, text by Jacobus Magnus (1360 ?-1425 ?), Louise de Savoie, 15th century

... Et lui dist dame Pallas et moustra moult d'enseignemens beaulx et moult de belles choses prouffitables a meurs et a honneste vie et qui seroient belles a declairier, maiz pour certaine cause je m'en tairay atant quant a present. Amen.
Je lairay donc c...

November 25, 2017

Do you know the famous children's book 'Where's Wally'? If you do, you'll find this similar, but instead of finding the man with the striped shirt, you've got to find the flute and the drum. Not that difficult in this selection, though.

These two musicians are everywhere: in midst of wars, burning cities, praying at church, 'dressed like' bears, rescuing captive ladies...and they are doing so always with a smil...

Please reload

Recent Posts

September 18, 2019

Please reload

Search By Tags

Iconogrpahy Links:




Subscribe for Updates

Servir Antico

© 2017 Servir Antico