Previous Next

Chitarra battente (modified)

1st half of the 17th century, Manufacturer: Matthäus Seelos



Chitarra battente (modified)

On this guitar by Matteo Sellas (ca. 1599-1654) there are metal pins on the lower end showing that it was originally a chitarra battente that was later converted into a five-course Baroque guitar. Guitars of the Baroque period were fitted with double-stringed courses, like lutes. The instrument displays craftsmanship of the highest order, both in the construction of the body and in the ornamental work. The body is built out of a series of narrow strips of yew, exploiting the natural colour-contrast between core and sap wood. In contrast to later guitars, Sellas’ instrument has an arched back. The optical design of the top plate is divided into three fields of inlaid trellis-work. The rosette around the sound hole is particularly artfully shaped, leading the eye into the depths with its terraced patterning. (rh)

Lit.: Rudolf Hopfne: Masterpieces from the Collection of Historic Musical Instruments. A Short Guide through the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Vol. 1, Vienna 2019

Location: Neue Burg, Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente Saal 11

Object data

Object Name

Chitarra battente (modified)


Italy, Venice


1st half of the 17th century


Matthäus Seelos (ca. 1599 - 1654) - GND

Dimensions Cover size is a museum or exhibition-specific information. It does not specify the real dimensions of the musical instrument.

990 mm x 275 mm x 55 mm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente

Inv. No.

Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, 47

Kunst & Patenschaft

This object is still without a Art Patron. Accept the patronage and make sure that this cultural treasure is preserved for future generations.
Your donation is a direct and sustainable contribution to the scientific documentation, research, restoration, and presentation of the artworks of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien.

Become an art patron