Music in Art: International Journal for Music Iconography XXV (2000)


Antonio Baldassarre (Universität Zürich), Reflections on Methods and Methodology in Music Iconography.

Although the essay does not map specific methods or even a theory of music iconography, it provides a basis for this discussion with theoretical reflections and practical observations regarding research with visual sources of musical subject matter and the significant issues encountered by research in music iconography.

Naomi Joy Barker (Newcastle upon Tyne), “Diverse Passions”: Mode, Interval and Affect in Poussin’s Paintings.

In a letter to Paul Fréart de Chantelou dated 24 November 1647 Poussin outlined several aesthetic notions with musical significance, notably his adoption of the theory of musical modes and their application to painting. The significance of Poussin’s statements lies not only in the use of modes in visual terms that are directly parallel to their use in music, but also in the wider implications regarding the dissemination of musical theory outside specifically musical circles.

Poussin’s references to concepts of affect and meaning, and his allusions to classical sources concerning the relationship of modal and poetic affects and textual rhythms to subject matter are of particular importance. Analyses of Poussin’s A Dance to the Music of Time (ca. 1638–40) and other paintings, statements made by the artist, and evidence drawn from texts on music theory, are used as evidence to support a new view of Poussin’s concept of mode that is viable in both musical and visual terms, and supported by contemporary theory.

Alessandra Iyer (Wolfson College, University of Oxford), Shiva’s Dance: Iconography and Dance Practice in South and Southeast Asia.

Images of the dancing Shiva are relevant for an understanding of dance iconography in both South and Southeast Asia and also for an understanding of the development of dance practices. Shiva’s dances are described, in relevant textual material, as being based on the karaa and agahara movements codified in the Natyasastra, a Sanskrit text from India reputed to be not later than the sixth century C.E. We have evidence that the Natyasastra tradition reached Southeast Asia, though we do not know about the dance forms and genres practised in Southeast Asia in ancient times and we cannot assume that they were identical to those practised in India. But we can at least say that the karaa technique seems to have been shared knowledge. Such conclusions can be reached by thoroughly examining the relevant iconographic evidence.

Florence Le Doussal (Boissy-st-Léger), Maurice Denis et Ernest Chausson: Deux Âmes fraternelles Éprises d’absolu [Maurice Denis and Ernest Chausson: Two brotherly friends overwhelmed by the absolute].

Removed from the vanities of the artistic world and characterized by genuine good nature, Maurice Denis (1870–1943) and Ernest Chausson (1855–1899) shared a quality of sentiment, a sense of moral responsibility, which was equaled only by their modesty: “If I ever succeed in realizing the work I aim to accomplish, it will neither be a drama, nor a symphony, but rather a simple collection of intimate pieces for the piano, which people would want to play only when they are alone”—confessed the composer early on. The painter, in turn, all his life sought to represent simple and suggestive motives that would be accessible to all. He maintained: “naïveté gives us a rest after so many pretentious works”. The multiple connections of the two artists—both involved with painting, music, and poetry—are traced during the nine years (1891–99) preceding the composer’s violent death. The creation of the decoration on the ceiling of the large auditorium of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées from 1912 is presented in a particular detailed manner.

Matthias Stephan von Orelli (Universität Zürich), Giambattista Tiepolos Werk als Dokument der Inszenierungspraxis zeitgenössischer Opern [Giambattista Tiepolo’s work as a document of opera staging during his time].

For 18th-century Venice, music iconographic research has documented a mutual influence of painting and theatrical staging on each other. Giambattista Tiepolo’s frescoes are well suited to prove this connection, because their content is similar to that found in contemporary opera libretti, and also because they are theatrically furbished in keeping with opera conventions of the day. Parallels in opera staging and painting are pointed out and commented upon.

Ingrid E. Pearson (Kingston University), Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Iconographical Representations of Clarinet Reed Position.

Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century iconographical representations of clarinet reed position confirm the existence of two embouchures as documented in contemporary primary source materials. Whilst the reed- below embouchure has become the most prevalent today, works of art confirm the co-existence of reed- above clarinet playing until the second half of the nineteenth century. Specific portrayals of the reed-above embouchure indicate its use amongst art music practitioners and military players as well as in indigenous musics. Quite a few representations testify to the popularity of the five-keyed clarinet which, although developed in ca. 1765, was still employed well into the nineteenth century. Organological details documented in these pictures include the transition to a dark-wood mouthpiece joint, and the use of a metal ligature to bind the reed to the mouthpiece. The images discussed in this paper include engravings, paintings, and lithographs, dating from ca. 1722 until ca. 1860, by artists from Germany, England, France, and Italy. Three of the six reproductions included appear in print here for the first time.

Ivo Petricioli (Zadar), Guslar među seljacima (1840) by Francesco Salghetti-Drioli.

In 1840, the Zadar painter Francesco Salghetti-Drioli (1811–1877) painted a composition of a guslar among peasants. The painting was sold at Salghetti-Drioli’s 1844 exhibition in Trieste and its whereabouts have been unknown since then. Recent investigation of Salghetti-Drioli’s sketches and notebooks, which the painter left to the Hrvatska Akademija Znanosti i Umjetnosti, and today are kept in its Kabinet Grafike in Zagreb, revealed several preparatory sketches for this painting. On the basis of these sketches, it is possible to reconstruct Salghetti-Drioli’s creative process on the painting from his first ideas to the painting’s final appearance. Among the sketches there are also very accurate annotated drawings of the gusle from the Dalmatian hinterland, showing the instrument from the front, side, and back, with an additional sketch of the bow.

Walter Salmen (Kirchzarten, Burg am Wald), Bilder aus der Musizierpraxis um 1530 an einem Prinkerker in Innsbruck [Pictures from musical practice around 1530 on a bay window in Innsbruck].

In front of the famous Golden Dachl in Innsbruck, the sculptor Gregor Türing formed around a bay window a frieze with four scenes: two foot soldiers with pipe and tabor; three court musicians with trumpet, crumhorn and cornet; dancing peasants with shawm and bagpipe; and three chamber musicians with viola da braccio, lute and flute. These four ensembles represent the idea of profane music in the early Renaissance Tyrol.

Cristina Santarelli (Università degli studi di Torino), I mmagini della danza moresca in Piemonte [Images of the moresca dances in Piedmont].

On the basis of a few iconographic sources from Quattrocento Piedmont, the so-called “feste dei folli” are investigated along with its relation to the genre of the “danza moresca”; the local survival of this tradition is also examined.

Edo Škulj (Pedagoška Fakulteta Univerze v Mariboru), Das älteste Bild der heiligen Cäcilia in Slovenien [The earliest depiction of St. Cecilia in Slovenia].

In the Capuchin church of Celje (Slovenia) exists a 1627 painting of St. Cecilia by Christoph (Krištof) Weissmann, most likely painted on commission from the bishop of Ljubljana, Thomas Hrenn (1560–1630, bishop since 1597). The painting is based on three sources: (1) in the upper part is depicted the so-called Legenda aurea describing the martyrdom of St. Cecilia; (2) on the lower part is shown the exhumation of St. Cecilia in 1599; and (3) in the center is St. Cecilia identified as the patron of church music (hence, several music instruments and music books are included). As a model for the saint, Weissmann used a print of Joannes I Sadeler (ca. 1550–1600), which was itself a copy of an original by Martin de Vos (1536–1603). However, the message of Weissmann’s painting goes beyond the one of Sadeler’s print by extending the latter’s iconographic content through the identification of St. Cecilia as the patron of church music.