This exhibition had it all. Music was playing in the background as visitors enjoyed viewing the glorious artwork by the noted Dutch Masters. Extremely enjoyable as the music being played was from the 16th century and created a wonderful atmosphere.
Not only the artwork was on display but the actual musical instruments were on show. The beautiful hand made lute dating from the 16th century,made in Venice, and in truly remarkable condition was made out of pine,ivory and ebony.The intricate detail of the ebony and ivory are typical of this period.
The paintings on entering are of still-life's painted by Harmen Steenwyck and Jan Jansz Treck.
Steenwyck,s painting -An Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life, oil on oak, is beautifully painted with the detail one expects from the Dutch artist.A. Skull lies next to an open book to denote knowledge ,a Japanese sword,power and wealth,a shell is a symbol for intrigue .The lute's sensual body is at the back of the still-life. This musical instrument is symbol of harmony,and with its voluptuous form was also a symbol of the female genitalia.This was utilized by various artists to suggest provocative women, plenty of wine and song,what more could a man ask for when being entertained.?
As the painters developed ,music began to be painted as an experience to be enjoyed by viewers.Instruments would be placed near the beginning of a painting to suggest an invitation to onlookers. Music sheets were vague in order for the viewer to suggest the song to be played by the musicians which could be interpreted as their favourite song .People would be depicted clapping, lips parted in order to show singing. Mirrors. were used to invite the spectators to take part in the concert.