Paintings relating to music, its perception, and metaphors.
Gerard ter Borch's oil on canvas painting, The Music Party, depicts, aptly enough, a music party in the 1670s. Music is shown here to be a way to pass the time, with specific company: musicians.
Honthorst's oil on canvas, Musical Group on a Balcony, shows a musical troupe, most likely practicing, on a balcony from below. The angle of the image elevates the musicians, most likely a metaphor.
Still Life with Musical Instruments and Books by Bartholomeo Bettera give a sensual look at the instruments used to create music, almost implying that humans are a hindrance to music in a way.
Another painting about music by Borch, The Music Lesson shows a young lady in a lesson. It seems a pleasant enough interaction though it shows the great lengths people went to learn how to play music.
Musical Contest between Apollo and Marsyas Judge King Midas by Giovanni Paolo Panini conveys the myth where a mortal dares to challenge a god. The darkness is used as foreshadowing for Marsyas demise.
Reflections by Thomas Rowlandson shows a more lighthearted take on music. The teacher is smiling, the old man seems comically offended and the young lady's stance seems teasing instead of serious.
Hendrick ter Bgrugghen's Bagpipe Player's subject faces away from the viewer, almost as if ashamed of his activity be it lack of talent or the activity itself. He also seems lost in his activity.
Two Odalisques Playing Music in the Harem by Francesco and Giovanni Guardi is a very different style of painting, portrays a more Arabian backdrop and pursuit of music, though the men are both white.
Amateurs of Tye-Wig Music by Edward Francis Burney is very visually busy. Various musicians play what seems to be discordant music though it isn't intended that way. Most likely a political metaphor.
A Woman playing a Clavichord by Gerrit Dou shows a woman hiding behind a tapestry as she plays music. A still life containing much symbolism, the main idea is that music is shameful to play to some.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Museo Diocesano Milano
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Yale Center for British Art
Cincinnati Art Museum
Dulwich Picture Gallery
The J. Paul Getty Museum
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