This lira da braccio by Giovanni d’Andrea is probably the most ornate instrument of its type. The arched back resembles the face of a man but it also suggests a human torso. The belly is reminiscent of the form of a female body. It is reasonable to suppose that this design is a reference to the close relationship between love and music. Dendrochronological analysis has revealed that the youngest growth ring of the front plate is from 1504, which coincides with the year of its making indicated in the signature. Traces of working on the body and especially on the edges of the belly and back suggest that the original contours of the instrument were possibly different and that it arrived at its present appearance at a later date. (rh)
Lit.: Rudolf Hopfner: Masterpieces from the Collection of Historic Musical Instruments. A Short Guide through the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Vol. 1, Vienna 2019
Lira da braccio
810 mm x 260 mm x 70 mm
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente
Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, 89
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