Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

Velázquez: Three Musicians

Diego Velázquez (1599–1660)
Tres músicos
Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie. Hacia 1617.

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Comment by Jelma van Amersfoort on March 22, 2010 at 16:33
I've been told that there were as many as 7 or 8 sizes of violin in the 17th century, including small discant violins that were smaller than the "standard" (baroque) violin as we know it.
Comment by Chris Despopoulos on March 22, 2010 at 13:40
The thing I always found most curious is the violin. Either it's a small violin, or the painting takes liberties with proportions. I can see an argument for the latter, since the violin and bow would both dominate the canvas were they of the proportions I'm used to. But then, why should my sense of proportion dominate my understanding of Velazquez?
Comment by Alexander Batov on March 21, 2010 at 16:23
It's difficult to say which one is actually smaller ... The one on the foreground has 5 courses, single first course (i.e. 9 pegs in all, single central peg at the farther end of the peg head), the other guitar (on the background) shows 4 double-strung courses. On a better quality reproduction it is possible to see string ends curling from pegs of the 5-course guitar.
Comment by Juan Pablo Pira on March 21, 2010 at 4:42
The smaller guitar looks like a four-course... but longer.

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