Monday, November 23, 2015

Renaissance Recorder / The Third Panel

My wife Jeanette joined a Renaissance band. She got her old recorders out of a closet and is putting new corks in the joints.

For me, that will mean the chance to paint the musicians when they practice. This one is in gouache.

Thirty five years ago, she was associated with a group called "The Third Panel." The name jokingly refers to the right hand section of a triptych called Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch more than 500 years ago.

The painting shows a musician's hell. Some of the tortured souls are shown crucified on the harp and lute, and a choir sings from a musical score written on a pair of buttocks.

According to Wikipedia, "Musical instruments often carried erotic connotations in works of art of the period, and lust was referred to in moralizing sources as the "music of the flesh". There has also been the view that Bosch's use of music here might be a rebuke against traveling minstrels, often thought of as purveyors of bawdy song and verse."

Here's a sample of some Renaissance music played by masterfully by the Praetorius Consort. (Link to YouTube)
Wikipedia: Garden of Earthly Delights
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Tom Hart said...

That's a very charming painting. The addition of the musical staff and notes are a clever and effective framing device too.

...Interesting tidbits on earlier views of music and musicians as well. Somehow the analogy of lust being the music of the flesh makes perfect sense to me.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Tom, the idea of scanning the artwork with material above and below it was to make it a square so that it works better on Instagram. The actual music she was playing seemed like a good fit.

Steve said...

Wonderful painting -- especially like Jeanette's hands and look of concentration. For many years, my weekday morning dreams were ended and waking consciousness ushered in by one of the dances of Terpsichore. It was the theme music of an early morning show on our local NPR station, set on the clock radio. Great way to begin the day.