Viola da gamba (viol)

16th century, Manufacturer: Francesco Linarol



Viola da gamba (viol)

The tenor viol by Francesco Linarol is among the few Renaissance viols that remain in their original state. According to a dendrochronological analysis, Linarol’s viol could not have been made before 1582. It can therefore be considered as a late work. It shows characteristics typical of late Renaissance lute making such as the sloping ribs of the shoulders and the shaping of the belly. In later instruments the arched shape of the plate was formed by carving it out of a piece of solid wood. As can be seen in Linarol’s instrument, in this earlier period the wood was planed into a thin plate and bent over two transverse bars into its arched shape. Thanks to this method of construction, early viols have a very bright and resonant sound similar to that of the lute. (rh)

Lit.: Rudolf Hopfner: 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 9

Object data

Object Name

Viola da gamba (viol)


Italy, Venice


16th century


Francesco Linarol (tätig in Venedig, ca. 1515/20 - vor 1601)

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

880 mm x 270 mm x 130 mm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente

Inv. No.

Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, 66

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