Music in Art: International Journal for Music Iconography XLIV (2019)


Stephen A. Bergquist (Boston), Four Centuries of String Players in Portrait Prints.

String players have often been attractive subjects for painters and printmakers. Sometimes these performers are depicted in traditional head-and-shoulders portraits, but often they are shown playing their instrument, or with the instrument sitting beside them. The German composer and lutenist Sebastian Ochsenkun was depicted in an early seventeenth-century engraving, after a woodcut portrait on the title-page of his 1558 Tabulaturbuch auff die Lauten. Charles Mouton, lutenist during the reign of Louis XIV, was portrayed in 1692 in a magnificent print by the great portrait engraver Gérard Edelinck. Sir Godfrey Kneller’s portrait of the Italian composer and violinist Nicola Cosimi, who spent several years in London, was rendered in mezzotint in 1706 by John Smith. The French cellist Jean-Louis Duport was one of the members of the Société académique des Enfants d’Apollon whose portraits were engraved by Thérèse-Éléonore Lingée in the 1780s. Francesco Bartolozzi did a portrait engraving of Domenico Dragonetti in 1795, soon after the great contrabassist moved to London. Around 1808, two years after the guitarist Mauro Giuliani moved to Vienna, he was already so successful that Artaria & Co. published a portrait of him by Johann Friedrich Jügel. The earliest known portrait print of Nicolò Paganini was engraved in 1813 by Luigi Rados, many years before the violinist embarked on his European concert career. A caricature of the Czech violinist Jan Kubelík by Spy (Sir Leslie Ward) appeared in the London magazine Vanity Fair in 1903. One of Emil Orlik’s many fine musical portraits is his portrayal of Bronislaw Huberman playing the violin, done in pure drypoint around 1920. Walter Tittle, the American etcher, depicted the twenty-eight-year-old Jascha Heifetz playing the violin in 1929.

Diana Blichmann (Rome), Water Symbols in the Stage Design of Alessandro nell’Indie: The Portuguese Exploration of India and Political Propaganda at the Lisbon Royal Court Opera in 1755.

The Real Ópera do Tejo in Lisbon was inaugurated in April 1755 with a performance of the opera Alessandro nell’Indie, celebrating at the same time the new theater designed by Giovanni Carlo Sicinio Galli Bibiena as well as the birthday of the Queen Maria Anna Vittoria of Portugal. The drama per musica, with the libretto by Pietro Metastasio, the music by David Perez, and the stage decorations by Galli Bibiena, was commissioned by the royal monarchs with the intention of evoking the Portuguese monarchy and the historical exploration of India by Vasco da Gama in 1498. Through dramaturgical and scenographic elements the performance was intended to compare the territorial conquests of Alexander the Great to the eastern colonial expansions of the Portuguese Kingdom in the late fifteenth century. The staging was rich with the exoticism and illustrated the presence of the indigenous Indians on scene as well as the Indian conquest. Engraved illustrations by Giovanni Berardi, Michel Le Bouteux, and Jean Baptiste Dourneau, inserted in the libretto printed for the performance, show decorative references to Indian architecture. While the performance of Alessandro alluded to the discovery of India, the performance of La clemenza di Tito, with libretto by Metastasio, music by Antonio Maria Mazzoni, and sets by Gally Bibiena, two months later, referred to the discovery of Brazil. In the two Lisbon spectacular representations, the exploration of non-European territories can be considered the extraordinary key to understand this “Iberian musical crossroad”.

Marina Buj Corral (Barcelona), Rediscovering Graphic Notation in the Iberian Peninsula.

Graphic notation in the Iberian Peninsula during the second half of the twentieth century constitutes an important source for understanding cultural exchange between composers of the Iberian Peninsula and the American and European avant-garde. Despite the conceptual and artistic quality of these works, some of them remain still unpublished and have not been properly studied. This paper divulges graphic notation in the Iberian Peninsula and highlights its conceptual and artistic value. In the center of the presentation are selected graphic scores by the Catalan artists Josep Maria Mestres Quadreny, Albert Sardà and Eugènia Balcells and the context in which these works were created.
The work Quartet de catroc by Mestres Quadreny, was included by John Cage in his book Notations (1969), along with scores of composers from around the world. In the midst of the Franco dictatorship, Sardà attended Darmstadt summer courses, where he has met some of the most important avant-garde composers at the time. The influence of the circular score Refrain by Stockhausen is reflected in his piece Círculos. Experiencia número 1 created upon his return to the peninsula. Balcells began to work on visual scores at the beginning of the 1980s when she was living in New York. Her contact with artists based in this city gave rise to works such as Xerox Music, created for the violinist Malcolm Goldstein and Flight, which is probably the earliest video score in history. The analyzed works demonstrate the contribution of Catalan artists to avant-garde and experimental music, as well as to graphic notation. As a testimony of their time and due to their artistic value, these works deserve to be rediscovered, studied in depth and performed again.

Michael Burden (New College, University of Oxford), London’s Opera House in Colour 1705–1844, with Diversions in Fencing, Masquerading, and a Visit from Elisabeth Félix.

What color was the King’s Theater? This huge indoor space was not only London’s performance space for elite opera and dance, but a building that dominated the West End. Externally, the building seems to have changed little between 1705 and 1789 and between 1818 and 1844. The best known view of its exterior is the one painted by William Capon in 1784, which shows a red brick front with an arcade below. Its decoration in these years remains a mystery, except for a design for a ceiling by James Thornhill, and a stage design attributed to Marco Ricci (1708–09). Following the fire of 1789 the new theater was designed by Michael Novosielski, who plotted out a substantially larger, much grander and more modern theater, designed in a late eighteenth-century classical style. The construction work began in 1790 with the reconstruction of the theater and the Haymarket entrance. When the theater soon fell back into the hands of William Taylor, he embarked on the demolition of the Haymarket houses to the left of the entrance, the construction of a concert room built on their site and that of the King’s Yard behind them. The theater was altered again in the summer of 1796 by the scene painter Gaetano Marinari, who implemented an improvement of the patrons’ view from the boxes. The facade of the theater was changed again between 1816 and 1818 by John Nash as a by-product of the creation of Regent Street. The final piece of evidence about the interior design comes from two sketches by Eugène Lami from 1841 related to performances of the French tragic actress Elisabeth Félix (performing as Mademoiselle Rachel).

Camilla Cavicchi (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Centre d’études supérieures de la Renaissance, Tours), Origin and Dissemination of Images of the Saint Chapel.

During the fifteenth century, the Saint Chapel in Paris became an architectural model for many French churches and a vector of the royal power by disseminating the devotion for the relics of Christ. The image of interior of the Saint Chapel had also a considerable influence on the compositional process of many miniatures, especially for the transmission of its musical attributes (the organ and the singers), and was integrated in the repertoire of the painters. The Saint Chapel became an imaginary model for the iconography of the interior of a chapel, adaptable to any sacred architecture, and particularly significant for the patrons who wanted to support the royal power.

Monika Fink (Institut für Musikwissenschaft, Leopold-Franzens-Universität, Innsbruck), Sound Sculptures and Sound Installations in the Evolution of Intermedia Art Forms.

Sound sculptures and sound installations are genres within the wide field of sound art, with the sound installation in particular playing a key role. The article at hand first gives an overview on the different, not by any means well-defined notions. I then elaborate on historical prototypes and the development of sound art. Examples created from the 1950s to the 1980s include works by Jean Tinguely (Switzerland), Bernard and François Baschet (France), and Max Henry Neuhaus, Alvin Lucier and Bill Fontana (USA). Following this retrospect, I present contemporary examples, focusing on projects by “bonn hoeren” with works by the Japanese sound artist Akio Suzuki and works by the winners of the only European competition for sound art “sonotopia”, Philipp Hawlitschek (2016) and Nika Schmitt (2018).

Gianni Ginesi (Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya, Barcelona), Drawing the Other: The Images of the Malaspina Expedition (1789–1794).

During the last part of the eighteenth century, the Spanish Kingdom organized one of the largest scientific expeditions for the documentation of the New World. Lead by the Italian navigator Alessandro Malaspina (1754–1810), the expedition lasted from 1789 to 1794, and traveled the Pacific Ocean from the American coasts to the Philippines. The detailed chronicles of the expedition—kept in Madrid, at the Ministerio de Defensa, Archivo del Museo Naval—are rich with ethnographic information about the expedition’s encounters with people and communities, embracing the presence and use of music and dance in different social situations. The documentation about the environment, including the ethnographic illustrations, were divided to <i>vistas</i> (landscapes; where are most of ethnographic images) and <i>retratos</i> (portraits). The images include a dancing couple from El Realejo, Nicaragua, by Antonio Pineda y Ramírez (1751–1792); dances of the Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) people on the Vancouver Island, British Columbia, made by the Mexican painter Tomás de Suria Lozano (b.1761); and an image of collective gathering with female and male dances in Tonga, made by the Italian artist Juan Ravenet (Giovanni Ravenet, 1766–ca. 1821). This documentation raises questions about the ways in which the explorers thought about the musical expressions of the native people. In some ways, these materials show a snapshot of particular moments and encounters with other civilizations. At the same time, they suggest further ways to understand part of the process of reformulation of Spanish and even Western history, with many narratives and questions regarding our perception of history and modernity.

M A Katritzky (The Open University, Milton Keynes, U.K.), Stefanelo Botarga and Zan Ganassa: Textual and Visual Records of a Musical commedia dell’ arte Duo, In and Beyond Early Modern Iberia.

Among the commedia dell’arte’s renowned international stars, two who generated more pan-European interest than most were the Italian professional actors Alberto Naseli and Abagaro Frescobaldi. The stage roles they created, Zan Ganassa and Stefanelo Botarga, were extremely influential in Iberia, inspiring many imitations further afield, some not previously noted in this context. Frescobaldi was touring Iberia with the troupe of Alberto Naseli by 1574. When he played Botarga to Naseli’s Ganassa, the duo created an immensely popular master-servant double act, celebrated in and beyond Iberia. From 1581 onward, Frescobaldi’s impact on Iberian performance practice became even more direct. Instead of following Naseli and his wife Flaminia to Madrid, Frescobaldi married the newly widowed Spanish actress Luisa de Aranda, and took the place of her late husband, Juan Granado, co-leading Aranda’s Spanish acting troupe around towns such as Valladolid, Valencia, Madrid and Seville. María Del Valle Ojeda Calvo’s discovery in the 1990s, in the Biblioteca del Palacio Real de Madrid, of two manuscript collections of stage speeches compiled by Frescobaldi during the 1580s, variously written in Venetian dialect, maccaronic Latin, Spanish or Catalan, immensely enrich our understanding of the role of Botarga.

Ruth Piquer Sanclemente (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Symbolism and Identity: Musical Scenes in Spanish Paintings at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.

At the end of the nineteenth century, between the regency of Christine von Habsburg and the first years of the reign of Alfonso XIII, Spain suffered economic, political and social difficulties that provoked a deep intellectual and artistic response. Particularly, painters sought to approach French and European symbolism from various contexts and aesthetics (Orientalism, regionalism, primitivism or aestheticism), basing on a reflection on the problem of Spanish identity at the turn of twentieth century. Thus, topics specifically related to folklore and Spanish traditions were common, among them cultural expressions such as flamenco and cuplé.
Nevertheless, representations of singers, dancers, tablaos, cafés or musical parties in gardens and courtyards, mainly enhanced the exotic or Orientalist visions of Spain that European artists had projected. Musical instruments and practices are meaningful in this context, because they portray this aesthetic eclecticism and different values and identities.
In this paper, I analyze a representative display of these issues through the works of Spanish symbolist artists. I take into account their literary, intellectual and philosophical environment, as well as their contacts with musical practices. Their paintings, engravings and posters reflect how it was precisely the idea of Spain’s own musical tradition that served painters to follow the European symbolist movements and to suggest the evasion of the social and political situation.

Giuseppina Raggi (Centro de Estudos Sociais, Universidade do Coimbra), The Lost Opportunity: Two Projects of Filippo Juvarra Concerning Royal Theaters and the Marriage Policy between the Courts of Turin and Lisbon (1719–1722).

From 1719 to the end of 1721 was pursued at the Portuguese and Savoy courts formal and informal diplomacy concerning the possible marriage between the prince of Savoy, later Carlo Emanuele III of Sardinia and Infanta Francisca of Braganza, the younger sister of Portuguese King João V. As a part of this effort, the Duke of Savoy, Vittorio Amadeo II took advantage of Filippo Juvarra’s stay in Lisbon during 1719 and entrusted him with a secret mission to learn about the infanta as much as he can. From November 1720 to March 1722, the Turin agent Jean Baptiste Despine, under the cover name of Gerolamo Vega, also stayed in Lisbon and wrote to the King Vittorio Amadeo II more than fifty letters concerning the infanta. At that point the marriage was considered imminent and many architectural projects were commissioned from Filippo Juvarra which were supposed to enhance the planned celebrations. Among them were the projects for two royal theaters, one in Lisbon and the other in Turin. The analysis of these two theatrical buildings allows us to identify them as the models for the architectural design by Benedetto Alfieri of the new Teatro Regio inaugurated in 1740.

María Isabel Rodríguez López (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) & Claudina Romero Mayorga (Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, University of Reading), The Reception of Hellenistic Musical Iconography in the Iberian Art: The Patera of Santisteban del Puerto.

The so-called Patera of Santisteban del Puerto constitutes one of the most singular archaeological findings in the Iberian Peninsula (Museo Arqueológico Nacional in Madrid, inv. 1917/39/1). The artifact displays an eclectic iconography that dates back to the second century bc: its central clypeus shows a motif of Iberian roots (a wolf devouring a human head surrounded by snakes) encircled by purely Hellenistic motifs: putti in different hunting scenes and a group of centaurs and centauresses carrying musical instruments in a nocturnal banquet. Four of the nine hybrid figures play musical instruments: one centauress blows the tibia (tibicina), another one thrums the cymbals and a third one is holding a tympanum, while a centaur strums the lyre with a plectrum.
This paper focuses on the reception of Hellenistic musical iconography and its adaptation by the Iberian peoples settled in Jaén, where the patera was found. Possibly copied from a foreign model, the reutilisation of the Hellenistic repertoire evidences certain connections between Eastern and Western sets of beliefs and practices, as well as a clear appropriation of the plastic language. Canids, monsters and “medusas” were usually found in Iberian iconography, especially associated with the funerary world. These monsters would have incarnated evil, which had to be defeated by a warrior in a heroic fight. Hence, this battle would have emphasized the warrior’s strength and courage, qualities that would have allowed him to reach eternity as a hero. In this patera, the Iberian wolf in the center should be understood as a gate to the underworld, where the deceased is welcomed by hunting scenes, which would have referred to the regeneration of nature, and by a nocturnal banquet, full of music and eternal happiness.

Cristina Santarelli (Istituto per i Beni Musicali in Piemonte, Turin), L’ékphrasis come sussidio all’iconografia musicale: Funzione metanarrativa delle immagini nel romanzo moderno e contemporaneo [The ékphrasis as an aid to musical iconography: Metanarrative function of images in the modern and contemporary novel].

The interweaving of words and images is a fruitful key to understanding the history of culture and to reconnecting the links between tradition and contemporaneity; more particularly, the ékphrasis (the description of the images) played an important role in the antiquity and at the present proves to be a crucial element in the study of the relationship between literature and visual culture. Through re-reading sections about paintings with musical subject in literature by E.T.E. Hoffmann (Santa Cecilia all’organo by Carlo Dolci), Joris-Karl Huysmans (Salome dansant devant Hérode and L’apparition by Gustave Moreau), Gabriele D’Annunzio (Herod’s Banquet by Filippo Lippi and Il concerto interrotto by Titian), and Mario Vargas Llosa (Venus with an Organist and Cupid by Titian), this essay proposes to investigate on the one hand, the function of ékphrasis in the modern novel, and on the other the possibility of using it as a subsidiary means in the iconographical research.

José María Salvador-Gonzalez (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Musical Resonances in the Assumption of Mary and Their Reflection in the Italian Trecento and Quattrocento Painting.

The doctrinal approaches and the visual representations of the Death or Dormition of the Virgin were inspired by some apocryphal legends of different linguistic and cultural origin going back at least to the third century as well as the canonical scripts. These early literary sources constitute the doctrinal foundation on which the Christian Church has codified from the fifth and sixth centuries the liturgical feast of the Dormition of Mary, fixing some five hundred years later the essential guidelines of the iconography of the Dormition of the Virgin, and by the end of the twelfth century that of her Assumption into the Heaven. Among the countless variants of late medieval iconography of the Assunta, a frequent element are angels singing and playing musical instruments around her. Their presence can be explained by doctrinal symbolism inherent in the Marian event. This hypothesis is highlighted in the article by the correlation between two series of communicational expressions: Christian texts coming from both apocryphal legends to canonical writings and liturgy that allude to hymns, songs, music and other expressions of jubilation while the Virgin Mary is translated in body and soul to heaven, and Trecento and Quattrocento paintings of the Assumption of Mary which include angels musicians. Such pictorial images visualize—through the musical instruments played by the angels—the songs, the hymns, the praises and the expressions of joy with which the angelic hierarchies and the saints receive Mary in her Assumption to heaven.



Lorenzo Bianconi, Maria Cristina Casali Pedrielli, Giovanna Degli Esposti, Angelo Mazza, Nicola Usula, and Alfredo Votilo, I ritratti del Museo della musica di Bologna da padre Martini al Liceo musicale, by Annette Richards

Natascha Veldhorst, Van Gogh and Music: A Symphony in Blue and Yellow, by Peter L. Schmunk

Joan Punyet Miró, Miró & Music, by Jordi Ballester

Enrico Ricchiardi, Musicisti in uniforme: L’arte dei suoni nell’esercito sabaudo (1670–1870), by Stefano Baldi

Florence Gétreau, ed., Le vin et la musique: Accords et désaccords, by Brian C. Thompson

Kaspar Mühlemann Hartl & Dominique Meyer, eds., Vorhang: Ein lebendiger Museumsraum—Der Eiserne Vorhang der Wiener Staatsoper/Curtain: A Living Museum Space—The Vienna State Opera Safety Curtain, by Georg Burgstaller

Monika Fink, Musik nach Bildern, by Robert Markow