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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

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...

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...

August 16, 2017

This mid-13th century psalter's first full-page illustration opens with King David's eyes fixed on me, the viewer. As if he was about to tell me something very important, he stares and at the same time I notice that his attention is in the act of listening: he is tuning his harp, David's harp. Around him, the scene is not that intimate. Angels fall, men engage in fight while being threatened by wild beasts.

Bel...

August 13, 2017

Among battlefields and love stories, the cycle of King Arthur’s legends written down in this 800-folio ‘Romans Arthuriens’ (c.a 1270-1290), is decorated with humorous legends of animals, monsters and angels with musical instruments.

With a predilection for bagpipes, trumpets, harps, fiddles, gitterns and few portative organs, the artist of this French manuscript (possible from St-Omer) uses recurrent imagery: the figures...

April 11, 2017

The 'Bohun Psalter', (Egerton MS 3277), produced during 2nd half of the 14th century in England, does not only showcase important examples of musical instrument in its full-page religious illuminations (as it will be shown in the following blog-post), but also a great amount of musical monsters decorating the psalter's texts. They tend to comment directly on the illuminated initials with instruments which are the instru...

February 20, 2017

Discover who's hiding behind those trees! 

'The Hours of Marguerite d'Orléans'.

Another fascinating French books of hours, where I could stare for hours at just one page discovering the finesse of these images. This manuscript was made for Marguerite d'Orléans, and not unlike other contemporary French breviaries, the artist makes sure to fill the whole page with delicate figures, golden initials and vivid colors....

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