Automaton, so-called Cittern Player

2nd half 16th c.



Automaton, so-called Cittern Player

A mechanism inside this figure of a girl makes her play the cittern, turn her head and trip along the table. In the 16th century, such androids represented man’s highly-prized ability to imitate Nature, herself the result of the divine act of creation. Such works were a speciality of Juanelo Torriano, the celebrated clockmaker of Emperor Charles V, wherefore this automaton also is attributed to him.

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer Wien Raum XXXII

Object data

Object Name



Spanish (?)


2nd half 16th c.


Painted wood, iron, linen, silk brocade


H. 44 cm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer

Inv. No.

Kunstkammer, 10000

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