Music in Art: International Journal for Music Iconography XXXVII (2012)


Antanas Andrijauskas (Lietuvos kultūros tyrimų institutas, Vilnius), Musical Paintings of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis and Modernism.

The artistic style of the Lithuanian painter and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875–1911) may be distinguished by four periods: (1) an early period of literary-psychological symbolism, dominated by symbolist iconography and a literary view of the depicted subjects (1903–1906); (2) period marked by the search for new means of plastic expression and the formation of an individual style (1906–1907); and (3) the sonata period, from which emerged (4) the metaphysical surrealist period with manifestations close to the metaphysical painting of De Chirico (1908–1909). Čiurlionis’s mature works are dominated by subtle graphic composition, clear artistic form, abstract arabesques, and the refined use of color characteristic of Far Eastern landscape painting. Through his first abstract pictures created during the winter of 1906–1907, Čiurlionis opened up the shortest route to abstract art, influencing the artistic development of Kandinsky, and then indirectly Kupka, Mondrian, Malevič, and Picabia. Čiurlionis’s metaphysical group includes about twenty works, in which bright compositions full of ecstasy, sunlight, and nostalgia for beauty cohabit with gloomy, legendary, mysteriously menacing, dramatic, phantasmagorical motifs. In their spirit, these pictures are close to motifs and moods of De Chirico’s metaphysical paintings. The two artists are connected here by the theme of the city and by the abundant use of architectural elements (the towers, aqueducts, bridges, and gates of cities, the silhouettes of temples and castles, while De Chirico supplemented these elements by frozen sculptures. Before the heyday of surrealism no other Western painter of the early twentieth century so intensively expanded and revealed the spaces of a fantastic, metaphysically perceived world as Čiurlionis, Chagall, and De Chirico have done.

Stefano Baldi (Universitá degli Studi di Torino, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici), The Ducal Chapel of Savoy in Les Trés Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.

The miniature in Les Trés Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (Chantilly, Musée Condé, MS 65, olim lat. 1284), depicted on f. 158r by Jean Colombe and his workshop (1485–1489), shows a scene with priest celebrating the Christmas Mass and choristers singing around the altar of the Sainte-Chapelle in Chambéry erected by the Duke of Savoy. The Chambéry chapel, consisting of choirboys, masters and an organist, was possibly established concurently with the formal act of endowment and erection of the Sainte-Chapelle (1417–1418). The miniature shows its organization during the 1480s. In the background of the scene is shown a console with the organ, which possibly represents the instrument constructed by Jean Piaz, who also built the organ at the cathedral of Vercelli, an important center in the Duchy of Savoy. Although Jean Colombe’s image is not strictly realistic, it nevertheless permits preliminary conclusions about location, facade, the appearance of the pipes, and the size of the instrument. Besides providing information about musical life at the court of the Duke of Savoy in the 1480s, the scene has also a symbolic value, since the presence of a musical chapel demonstrates the distinction and emulation towards papal and cardinal chapels and towards the musical structure of laical rulers as kings and dukes.

Helen Barlow (The Open University in Wales, Faculty of Arts), The Military Band Images of George Scharf.

The impact of the military on nineteenth-century music culture is often misunderstood and underestimated. In most European countries, military bands were the most widespread network for the dissemination of instrumental music, and the fascination with them is evident in a group of sketches and watercolours of London-based bands, produced mainly in the 1820s by George Scharf, the elder (1788–1860). They are preserve within the collection of 1479 items of his sketches and drawings donated to the collection of the British Museum. The images shed considerable light on several aspects of early nineteenth-century British military bands. They illustrate changes in instrumentation, as well as complexities around the cultural and racial identities of musicians employed to play exotic “Turkish” percussion. They also give glimpses of how the musical education of band boys may have been conducted in a period before it was centralised and formalised. Some of the images show bands performing outdoors to a general public who had little other access to sophisticated instrumental repertoire. They also illustrate the role of the band in the officers’ mess, where music was a crucial element in promoting an idea of gentlemanly sophistication on which the officers based their superiority and authority over the other ranks.

Angela Bellia (Università di Bologna), Twelfth-Century Musical Symbols in the Star-Studded Sky of Ruggero II.

Ruggero II (1095–1154), the king of Sicily of the Norman origin, supported at his Sicilian court significant artistic and cultural activities of the artists and scholars from the Greek and Arab world, positioning it in the center of the Mediterranean artistic endeavors. His fame is also linked with the construction of the cathedral in Cefalù and the Cappella Palatina that provide a clear testimony to the sovereign’s predilection for Oriental cultural forms, both Muslim and Byzantine. The painters who decorated the wooden ceiling of the cathedral of Cefalù were certainly Muslims. Their subjects, style, figures and scenes are akin to those of the Cappella Palatina ceiling.
The ceiling of the cathedral in Cefalù gives an extensive figurative documentation of Islamic music, probably connected with life after death. The iconographic narrative includes players of ‘ūd, rabāb and psaltery, percussions and wind instruments, as well as female figures dancing and playing castanets. The cathedral of Cefalù, which Ruggero II destined as the burial place for him and his wife, is an example of peaceful meeting points and exchanges between East and West that took place in medieval Sicily, through the mediation of the great powerful Norman ruler.

Stephen A. Bergquist (Boston), Some Portraits of Beethoven and His Contemporaries.

Presented are three portraits of Beethoven (two posthumous) and seven portraits of his contemporaries who played some role in his life. The engraving of Beethoven by Joseph Steinmüller was done in the last year of the composer’s life, and was considered by Carl Czerny to be an excellent likeness. Friedrich Heinrich Himmel (stipple engraving by Johann Friedrich Bolt), the Prussian Kapellmeister, had several run-ins with Beethoven, including one in which he duped Beethoven into believing that a lantern for the blind had been invented. Antonio Salieri (lithograph by Heinrich Eduard von Wintter) was one of Beethoven’s teachers, and was instrumental in introducing him as a pianist to the Viennese public. Count Andreas Razumovsky (lithograph by Josef Lanzedelly, the elder) was one of Beethoven’s most important patrons, and a fine musician himself. Muzio Clementi (stipple engraving by Johann Joseph Neidl) published a number of Beethoven’s works in England, and, as a composer, was an important influence on Beethoven’s writing for piano. Johann Peter Salomon (soft-ground etching by William Daniell) was helpful in finding a London publisher for some of Beethoven’s works. Prince Anton Radziwill (etching and stipple engraving by Heinrich Sintzenich) was one of the subscribers to manuscript copies of the Missa Solemnis, and was the dedicatee of two of Beethoven’s works. His brother-in-law, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, was a first-rate musician, and was greatly admired by Beethoven. Ignaz Moscheles (lithograph by Pierre Roch Vigneron), as a young man, prepared a piano transcription of Fidelio under the composer’s supervision, and toward the end of Beethoven’s life was helpful in arranging a gift to him from the Philharmonic Society of London. David Charles Read’s etched portrait of Beethoven between 1832 and 1844, after the painting by Joseph Karl Stieler, and, while not important for the Beethoven iconography, is a very attractive print. The color woodcut of Beethoven’s life mask by Jacques Beltrand, done in the decade before the First World War, is a manifestation of the French Beethoven renaissance which took place at that time, initiated by Romain Rolland’s influential 1903 biography of the composer.

Francesca Cannella (Università del Salento), The Ephemeral Baroque at the Young Beatrice Acquaviva D’Aragona Exequies (Cavallino–Lecce, 1637).

The viceroyalty of Naples from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century represents a perfect geography for demonstrating features of the “ephemeral Baroque”. The public festivities organized there carried through the luxury of decorations, ornaments, ceremonies, masks, architecture, music, and performances demonstrate a complex “system of signs” which such celebrations involved. One such event was the funeral ceremony of Beatrice Acquaviva d’Aragona, the daughter of Conversano Count Don Giovanni Acquaviva d’Aragona (1609–1637) and the wife of Marquis Francesco Castromediano (1598–1663), held in Cavallino, a small Salento center, on 24 August 1637. The monumental catafalque for Beatrix was modeled on the 1599 mausoleum for the Spanish king Felipe II, built in Naples by Domenico Fontana. Its decoration included an abundance of allegorical symbols, including a number of musical references (Apocalypse angels blowing trumpets), and also references to allegorical identification of the Aquaviva family with the water.

Daniela Castaldo (Università del Salento-Lecce), Amico Aspertini’s Apollo and Muses in the Isolani Castle at Minerbio near Bologna.

During the late 1530s Amico Aspertini (1474–1552) painted a cycle of frescoes at the castle belonging to the Isolani family at Minerbio, near Bologna. The frescoes are located in three rooms (possibly used as studioli) in the tower on the north side of the castle and they were all inspired by the classical world: Hercules and his Twelve Labors, Mars, and Apollo and the Muses. Aspertini was a man of culture, a friend of scholars, philologists and humanists, and he frequented the most culturally advanced circles of Bologna animated by the Bentivoglio court and featured by the knowledge and the study of the classical world. His model for the cycle of Apollo and the Muses were the so-called Mantegna Tarocchi, but he made many changes, both in the objects and musical instruments held by the characters, and by inserting new figures which did not appear in the series. As a repercussion, this practice somehow upset the symbolic meaning of the original model. Apollo, god of music and poetry, is represented with a shawm, contrary to the iconographical tradition portraying him with a string instrument. The wind instrument might allude to the power of Eloquence, and thus of Rhetoric that in the Renaissance period were closely related to Poetry.

Richard Green (Las Cruces, New Mexico), Bloch, Beethoven and Der Blaue Reiter.

American artist Albert Bloch (b. St Louis, 1882, d. Lawrence, Kans., 1961) lived in Munich between 1909 and 1921, where he exhibited in Der Blaue Reiter and many other venues in Central Europe, becoming one of the leading figures in the early modern movement. Bloch was interested in Kandinsky’s ideas about the possibilities of painting becoming spiritually expressive and abstract as music. He believed, however, that painting was a unique art form with its own powerful spiritually expressive possibilities. Convinced, as were others in that period, that traditional painting had become materialistic, Bloch nevertheless sought musical expression metaphorically primarily through Harlequin and Pierrot, who reappear throughout his career as musicians and figures expressing the spirit of music.

Dagmar Hoffmann-Axthelm (Basel), Vanitas: Lukas Cranachs Melancholia-Gemälde (1533).

Dürer’s famous Melencolia I engraving of 1514 had a major influence on artists of his own time and later. Most important among these was Lukas Cranach, from whom no fewer than four renderings of the theme survive. The 1533 version, with its pair of putti playing flute and drum, is the only one with a musical connection. By contrast with Dürer’s humanistic reading, Cranach made it religious. He portrayed Luther’s interpretation, going back to the Middle Ages, according to which melancholics are themselves to blame for their anguish: through passivity, stupidity and idleness they have turned away from God and become an easy target for the devil. All the elements in Cranach’s picture show the context of this reading: the ghostly procession descending from the sky stands for the devilish component; the children who sleep, dance and play music stand for blindness and ignorance; the extended foot of the female figure stands for passivity; and her shaving of a piece of wood—the topic of much discussion and speculation in the art-historical literature—stands for the emptiness of a melancholy lifestyle. In the sixteenth century, “Hölzle spitzen” was a term that corresponds to pointless action.

Licia Mari (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Brescia / Archivio Storico Diocesano, Mantua), Culture and Power of the Gonzaga Patronage: The Angelic Concert in the Dome of the Cathedral of Mantua (ca. 1599–1607).

Under the patronage of Bishop Francesco Gonzaga (Prince of the Holy Roman Empire and Marquis of Ostiano; after his episcopate in Cefalù he ruled the Mantua diocese from 1593 to 1620), the cathedral of Mantua saw renovations of the frescos on the dome, transept, and apse. With the new decorating program were involved Antonio Maria Viani (ca. 1555/60–1630), with his collaborators Orazio Lamberti (1552–1612) and Ippolito Andreasi (1548–1608). Two purposes are evident in the new decorative program: the celebration of the Gonzagas (first of all by the heraldic eagles placed under the four Evangelists painted by Andreasi) and religious teachings of the bishop (by representing particular saints, Doctors of the Church, liturgical objects and symbols of the Redemption). Several angels are painted on the arches around the dome, towards the apse, towards the nave and in the transept. On the arch towards the nave and on the transept nice, angels are represented in dynamic postures, and holding liturgical objects such as books, chalices, thuribles, a pastoral staff, and musical instruments (lute, lira da braccio, viola da gamba, and tuba). On the great arch towards the apse in two octagons are represented refined angels on clouds (painted by Viani) with typical instruments (lute, harp, and cornet). The most impressive composition is the decoration in the dome showing the Glory of Paradise with blessing God, painted by Lamberti. In the nine concentric choirs, according to an increasing degree of spirituality, are shown ranks from angels to seraphim. The angels are the first choir, nearer to earth and human beings: they have a concrete aspect and dynamic posture. Several of them play instruments; music thus becomes a link between earth and heaven.

Donatella Melini (Conservatorio Statale di Musica “Agostino Steffani”, Castelfranco Veneto), Musical Iconography in the Codices of the Visconti Age.

The court of the Viscontis (1262–1447, firstly Lords and later Dukes of Milan) was well-known center of extraordinary experimentation in various fields of knowledge and art. Music in particular had an important role in Visconti’s cultural projects although we have today very few remnants preserved of that culture. Nevertheless, we are now well aware of the interest of the Viscontis for music thanks not only to the various compositions written pro or versus the ducal family (attested mainly in later books) but also to some illuminated codices (surely belonging to the Visconti circle) that are not strictly musical: Books of Hours, treatises on the liberal arts, and the tacuina sanitatis. The corpus of music-related images from the Visconti manuscripts include Andrea de’Bartoli’s Ars Musica in the Canzone delle virtù e delle scienze (ca. 1349; Chantilly, Bibliothèque du Musée Condé, MS 599); decorations by Giovanni di Benedetto da Como in tacuinum sanitatis (ca. 1365; Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, MS nouv. acqu. latin 1673); decorations by Giovannino de Grassi in tacuinum sanitatis (ca. 1380; Liège, Bibliothèque Universitaire, MS 1041); his image of a harp player (ca. 1370; Bergamo, Civica Biblioteca Angelo Mai, cod. Δ.VII 14), and several images in the Libro d’ore Visconti (1388–1395; Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, MS BR397); and finally, Jaquemin de Sanleches’s La harpe de melodie (ca. 1390; Chicago, Newberry Library, MS 54.1).

Candela Perpiñá Garcí­a & Desirée Juliana Colomer (Universitat de València), The Musical Image of the Sea in the European Court Festivals During the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries.

Trough graphic and literary sources created to record and commemorate European court festivals during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, we can follow how was the topos of the sea at the time formed, used and disseminated in celebrations at royal courts. This subject, derived from the ancient sea thiasos but with intermittent appearances during the Middle Ages, starts to be retrieved accurately at the beginning of the Renaissance due to the study of Greco-Roman sarcophagi. It is very likely that one of its first appearances in court festivals is related to the disembarkations that took place in the main harbors. Though in a fragmentary way, the Medici family used this iconography in association with princely power, with one of its first documented appearances being one intermezzo of Il Commodo (1539). The musical image of the sea spread throughout the European territory due to the Medici’s marriage policy with the major monarchies of the Early Modern Period such as the Spanish Habsburgs and the Valois. It was the Valois who, from Catherine de’Medici’s patronage, integrated all these elements together as an allegory of monarchical power, turning it into an essential aspect of their political programs.

Marí­a Isabel Rodrí­guez López (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Victory, Triumph and Fame as the Iconic Expression of the Power in the Court.

The concepts of Triumph, Victory and Fame have had many semantic and iconic similarities since ancient times. The personification of Victory, Niké, was often associated with the gods to express Triumph. Niké is usually represented with ribbons, wreaths, branches of palm or olive tree, utensils for libations and, occasionally, musical instruments if the mission is to reward the winner of a musical or poetic contest. Demetrios Poliorcetes, Basileus of Macedonia, chose a Victory to be minted on the front of his coins with the distinctive attribute of a salpinx, a straight trumpet which has a strong sonority that announces its presence.
The iconography of Triumph also began in the Hellenistic period, in relation with the worship parades associated with the gods. Moreover, the most unique military events lead by Roman legions were architecturally and plastically remembered by commemorative monuments, the so-called triumph arches, whose purpose was to celebrate the Victory of the emperor and his triumphal entry into the city after the battle. Both in antiquity and in modern times, the ornamentation of these memorials consists of pomp, a procession usually preceded by trumpeters and other musicians. Among the most highlighted triumphs associated with the princely power in the modern times, are the cycle of paintings known as the Triumphs of Caesar by Andrea Mantegna and the famous engravings of the Triumphs of Maximilian of Austria, works in which the triumphal iconography reached its zenith.
The ultimate expression of Roman Glory was the Apotheosis, the means by which the dead emperor reached the divine hierarchy, with roots found in the reign of Alexander the Great. Iconographically, the Apotheosis is represented by the presence of an eagle that helps the deceased in his elevation, which often occurs near the personifications of Victory, who crowns him with laurel.
According to Virgil (Aeneid 4, 173–197), Fame is a winged monster, son of the Earth that spreads news (good and bad) and facts (true or false); a wicked messenger, associated with envy, to human and divine at the same time. In the Metamorphoses (12, 39–63) Ovid describes the mansion of Fame, open day and night, that hosts in its atrium credulity, error, joy, fear, sedition, and whispers. This negative interpretation of the character in antiquity was shunned by Petrarch, who gives to it a positive sense. It then becomes the protagonist of the famous Triumphi, allegorical visions similar to the real military triumphs. In the Renaissance, the Fame acquires most often a sense of Victory and Triumph, as a synonym of glory and renown to become a personification related to immortality (the Apotheosis of the ancients) of the most prominent men of the history of humanity.
Hand in hand with a long literary tradition, the iconography of Triumph, Victory, and Fame, whether negative or positive, is abundant throughout the modern era. Petrarch’s Triumphs and the iconic tradition of ancient times resulted in a series of works where the notion of Fame associated with triumph and immortality is predominant, a being so powerful that it is able to defeat death itself. The idea of the Triumph of Fame defeating death subsequently arose, inspired mainly by Petrarch.
The winged trumpeter also appears by herself, often linked to Fortune, high and unstable on the globe, sometimes with the look or the trumpet high into the sky. She has one or two trumpets, based on models provided by the engravings that accompanied the emblems. Allegorically, her presence has become inextricably linked to the glorification of the noble families, the Papacy and all the great dignitaries of the history of mankind because, in the words of Villalón, “no one who left fame after death really dies”.

Cristina Santarelli (Istituto per i Beni Musicali in Piemonte, Turin), Disquieting Muses and Tired Troubadours: Giorgio de Chirico and Mediterranean Metaphysics.

De Chirico’s mannequins are personifications of the clairvoyant poet, a kind of ultra-man with voice and sight beyond the human range: they are muses, seers or medieval troubadours, and these enigmatic and mute characters often sit in deserted squares, in front of blackboards with mysterious scribbling, indicating the revealing and prophetic function of poetry and art. To interpret them, one must consider that, in De Chirico, classicism appears as cultural memory due to its birth in Greece but it is related above all to the romantic vision of the ancient world typical of late nineteenth-century German culture: although Böcklin and Klinger were his first pictorial models, Nietzsche, as well as Weininger and Schopenhauer, provided the elements useful for the definition of metaphysics as the evocation of the ultimate reality hidden behind phenomenal appearances. With time, the faceless mannequins took on new meanings, coming to symbolize the human condition in the modern age.

Simon Shaw-Miller (Birkbeck College, University of London), Imago Musicae: Imaging Music from Ladybird to Wittgenstein.

The essay aims to widen the purview of musical iconography as an academic (inter)discipline. It addresses musical iconography within the context of a wider visual culture of music, focusing on a shift from images of music to images of the idea of music, placing musical iconography closer to the heart of musical understanding. It does this by considering the children’s book illustration of the British artist and illustrator Martin Aitchison (b.1919), the theory of meaning as propounded in late Wittgenstein and the sensory philosophy of Michel Serres. It is argued that music is never employed without numerous and complex intersections with the visual; that music has an image and is always, to some degree, iconographic.

Luí­s Manuel Correia de Sousa (Centro de Estudos de Sociologia e Estética Musical / Instituto de Estudos Medievais, Universidade Nova de Lisboa), The Evocation of Music in the Ephemeral Artworks: The Wedding Celebrations of D. Pedro II and Maria Sofia of Neuburg in Lisbon, 1687.

The wedding ceremony of King Pedro II of Portugal (1648–1706) and D. Maria Isabel Sofia of Neuburg (Marie Sophie Elisabeth von der Pfalz; 1666–1699), the daughter of the Palatine Elector Prince Philip William of Neuburg, held in August 1687, was a particularly lavish ceremony with part of the city of Lisbon entirely changed by newly constructed bridges, castles, pyrotechnics machines, triumphal arches, and a magnificent stage for theatrical presentations. The royal couple made the public entrance from the royal palace to the cathedral through twenty majestic arches, built by diplomatic representations of European countries (Italy, the Netherlands, France, England, German) and by local guilds (confectioners, coiners, goldsmiths, tailors, esparto makers, merchants, wine growers, carpenters, silversmiths, shoemakers, wax dealers, ship owners). Architects providing designs of these arches remain unknown, but their drawings are preserved in the album Cípia dos Reaes Aparatos & Obras que se fizeram em Lixboa na occasiãm da entrada e dos Desposórios de Suas Maiestades, produced by João dos Reis (1639–1691), kept at the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal in Lisbon, AT 317. The nuptial celebrations were luxurious and conspicuous celebrations for the public, and included lavish fireworks, dance and music productions. Their objective was to reflect an image of power and magnificence, to glorify the royal family, and to impress people and foreigner visitors. The musical references incorporated into the celebrations were more reflecting the ancient concepts associated with mythological episodes, than producing music performances as an artistic expression, and such Baroque festivities can be in many ways understood as a revival of the heritage that the Western civilization received from the Classical antiquity.

Anna Tedesco (Università degli studi di Palermo), “Applausi festivi”: Music and the Image of Power in Spanish Italy.

In so-called Spanish Italy, or the Italian territories subject to the Spanish rule (the State of Milan, the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily) during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the theater was often used in feast-day celebrations to underline the bond with the ruling nation, and to engender acclaim for the Spanish monarchy. Celebrations were an integral part of the complex web of political relationships. The Senate (civic government) of Palermo was throughout the seventeenth century paying for musicians performing in outdoor improvised venues on the feast days. Out of these performances was created the serenata, a musical genre specifically designed to celebrate power and glorification of the Spanish monarchy, which was often composed for the precisely determined performance location. In 1679 was established a permanent ensemble for such performances (“nuova cappella”), and in 1682 was constructed the permanent theater (“teatro marmoreo”), designed by the architect Paolo Amato (1634–1714). The use of this theater for the performance of commemorative serenatas is confirmed in printed librettos and in images until the 1740s. Since the beginning of the eighteenth century, serenatas were performed in Palermo at the Maredolce quarter, where the nobility took their promenades on the day of Ferragosto (15 August). The apparato there was a temporary structure which bore several notable points of resemblance to the “teatro marmoreo”: it fulfilled the function of a set, it extended over two levels, it had a curvilinear main façade; it boasted a balustrade which ran right around the building, and small boxes for the musicians. As they were linked to specific events, performances of serenatas were irreproducible events, what might be also a reason for the fact that there are preserved only few surviving scores relative to the number of performances indicated in other sources.

Laurence Wuidar (Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique de Belgique), Princely Iconography and Musical Power in Renaissance Emblems.

Emblems of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries provide for musicologists and art historians a window into the theoretical and cultural approaches to the interactions between music and the government as well as a practical and speculative understanding of the relationships between the power of music with its ideal structure and the power of princely government with its ideal goals. In the studiolo (1497) of Isabella d’Este (1474–1539) at the Palazzo Ducale in Mantua is preserved an allegorical musical impresa which includes only musical rests representing silence. The very same impresa is included in the second part of the Brussels edition of Juan de Borja’s Empresas morales (1680), dedicated to Philip II, and a related image showing musical silence can be found in Book XXII of the treatise El melopeo y maestro by Pietro Cerone (ca. 1560–1625), published in Naples in 1613. These images demonstrate that silence is the only path to escape from the confusion and to introduce an order into the chaos of sounds. The same is true for any discourse or speech by the orator, the preacher, the prince, or the musician, who all have to know when to introduce silence and pause, as the wise will know how to wait in silence and how to listen.
Emblematic iconography proposes various images of the prince in his ideal relationship with music: (1) the power of music encounters the power of the prince; (2) the ideal state is in relation with the ideal of music; and (3) speculative music proves the state theory while practical music confirms the union between the prince and music. The prince is the one who harmonizes the divergent will of his citizens; good government and peace in a country may be abstractly represented by a symbolic lute. The prince may also be accompanied by a musician: in this case, the musician serves as a guide to the prince whereas, in other cases, a prince may choose a musical instrument as his personal impresa.

Slawomira Żerańska-Kominek (Instytut Muzykologii, Uniwersytet Warszawski), Bird-Like Angels Making Music in Mary’s Garden: Gentile da Fabriano’s Madonna and Child with Saints.

Angelic concerts were an extremely popular motive in late medieval European painting. Music-making, singing or dancing angels co-created the aura of beauty, happiness and harmony that artistic tradition associated primarily with the figure of Mary in the countless scenes of the Dormition, and—most of all—the Assumption and Coronation in Heaven. The nascent tradition was taken up by Gentile da Fabriano (ca. 1370–1427), who created in his works an original vision of the Heavens filled with sweet unearthly music, reigned by the Mother of God. The most interesting is Gentile’s first work, painted around 1395 (Berlin, Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Gemäldegallerie). It depicts Mary with her Child on a throne. On its both sides there are two lilies and in the background two rather large trees hiding pink angels who hold musical instruments gleaming with gold light in their hands. The bird-like angels hidden among the foliage are a visual reference for the poetic metaphor of birdsong as an earthly manifestation of the angelic songs in eternal praise of Mary’s life in Heaven.