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Servir Antico's 

Viewer-friendly Organology & Iconography Resource

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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

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

September 12, 2017

In a book mostly dedicated to the lives of Saints and Passions and a last section that comprises a calculus treatise, we find a single image with humanly figures.

There, we see David with a triangular stringed instrument (psaltery, lyre or harp?), surrounded by four musicians holding cymbals, a plucked (!) fiddle/ rebec, a horn and an organist.

The organ, (using sliders instead of keys, as in the Theophilus organ type), i...

September 8, 2017

Something must they have had with the horns... that even the lyre has horns! 

BL Cotton MS Tiberius B V/1, 2nd quarter of the 11th century - 3rd quarter of the 12th century. 

Anglo-Saxon miscellany, possibly Canterbury.

September 6, 2017

Also known as the 'Psalter of Henry of Blois', this 12th century manuscript is an exquisite example of the English Romanesque illumination art. 

Its clear lines, extravagant composition and expressive portraits gives us an insight into the devotional tone of the period.

With King David playing a fiddle while turning attentively to God's hand or the angels playing horns (tubae) in an apocalyptic scene, we ge...

August 28, 2017

The 'Golf Book' was illustrated by the Flemish artist Simon Bening, "the leading master of illumination in the 16th century". 

In this book of hours, we get a glance at intimate scenes of courtiers and their use of music for recreation. 'Pastime with good companye', that famous song by Henry VIII, seems to be an adequate title to frame these scenes. Men and women enjoying a good time, accompanying a delightful afternoon...

August 18, 2017

The 'Sforza Hours' doesn't cease to delight with its vibrant colors, cute animals and fascinating instruments.

After the 1st post showing some of the musical scenes and other curious images of this book (February 21, 2017), I post here some images that show the variety and diversity of specimens that the Sforza family must have been acquainted with during the turn of the 16th century. Not only suggestive bunnies and cats...

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