Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Musical Instruments in Vermeer's Paintings: The Guitar

The Guitar in Vermeer's Paintings

The Guitar Player (detail)
Johannes Vermeer
c. 1670-1672
Oil on canvas, 53 x 46.3 cm.
Iveagh Bequest, London
 

Vermeer portrayed the guitar only one time in his oeuvre, in the late Guitar Player. "Vermeer's compositional organization of this picture may be linked to his decision to depict a guitar player rather than a lute player. The guitar was just coming into vogue in the late 17th century as a popular instrument for solo accompaniment. The music it created was bolder than that of the lute, in large part because its chords produced a resonance not possible on lute which had begun to take on associations with an idealized past, a sophisticated era where music had been enjoyed and contemplated for the purity of its sounds. The bright and direct character of the Guitar Player thus, spoke more to the modern world of music represented by the guitar than to the conservative and contemplative traditions of the...

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