Cittern Picture Gallery - Artwork

Last updated Thursday, June 21, 2012.

The cittern gallery attempts to catalogue paintings and other artwork about citterns from the 14th through 18th centuries. Due to the large number of images available, loading time may be extremely slow. (Please be patient!)

Works in are currently sorted by approximate date except where there are many works by one artist (in which case works are grouped by that artist).

When an image is available for viewing, titles of pieces are highlighted. Works listed are paintings unless otherwise noted.

To assist those researching, reference is made to Louis Peter Grijp's article, "Fret Patterns of the Cittern" (Galpin Society Journal, XXXIV, pp.62-97). Where an image corresponds to one used in Grijp's study, I have cited this source in the additional comments section by the designation "*LPG" plus his reference number.


 

Work title Type Artist Approx. Date Location Other Remarks
sculpture Benedetto Antelami ca.1180 Baptistry in Parma, Italy Shows an instrument with four distinct strings, a bridge, definite raised frets, and small wings at the top of the body.
Figures in Minstrel's Gallery sculpture anon.? 14th c. Exeter Cathedral The first figure holds an oval instrument thought by Galpin to depict the earliest extant image of a cittern. Shown in Galpin, Old English Instruments of Music (London, 1911), p.27 and Kinsky, Music History in Pictures, p.51. (Waldbauer, 1964)
Miniature from MS of Seneca's tragedies painting? Neopolitan school late 14th c. ? Shown in F. Testi, La musica italiana nel Medioeveo e nel Rinascimento (Milan, 1969), pl. opposite p.147. (Grove, 2001)

Putto playing an instrument
sculpture anon.? late 14th c. or early 15th c. Beverly Minster The figure plays a fig-shaped instrument (citole?). Image can also be seen in Galpin, Old English Instruments of Music (London, 1911), p.28. (Waldbauer, 1964)

"Cantoria" [singing-gallery]
sculpture Luca della Robbia 1431-8 Italy, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo Originally sculpted for Florence Cathedral; sculpture includes two women playing citterns. Image also found in Winternitz, Musical Instruments and their Symbolism in Western Art. (New York, 1967, 2/1979), pl.13. (Grove, 2001)
Greek gods sculpture Agostino di Duccio 1449-56 Church of S Francesco, Rimini Depicts citterns with block frets. Images in Winternitz, Musical Instruments and their Symbolism in Western Art. (New York, 1967, 2/1979), pls. 4 and 5. (Grove, 2001)

printed tarocchi cards
woodcut attr. to Andrea Mantegna c.1467 British Museum Includes two depictions of Terpsichore playing a guitar-shaped instrument with block frets and end-fastened strings. (Grove, 2001)

Studiolo from the Ducal Palace in Gubbio (detail).
intarsia Designed by Francesco di Giorgio Martini (14391502); Executed by Giuliano da Majano (14321490); Italian; Made in Gubbio, Italy. 15th century (ca. 147982). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (?) Notice the unusual frets on this instrument (raised pieces of wood rather than inlaid metal frets). Perhaps one of the earliest reliable(?) pictures of a cittern in art in existence.
For a complete on-line tour of the Studiolo, visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art Studiolo Website
"Terpsichore with cittern," from "Apollo and the Nine Muses" painting (fresco) attr. to Giovanni di or Pietro lo Spagna c. 1516 Rome, Pinacoteca Capitolina Palazzo dei Conservatori (Waldbauer, 1964)
"Madonna" (detail) painting Gerolamo dai Libri 1526 Verona, San Giorgio Maggiore *LPG #11

"Lute player"
[sic]
drawing Girolamo da Treviso (1498 - 1544) France, Private collection Pen, ink, wash, and chalk.
Despite the title, the image clearly shows a cittern. Sold in 2005 on ArtNet, http://www.artnet.de.
- engraving G. de Jode (1509-1581) Antwerp, Prentenkab. *LPG #58
reverse image

Staircase carvings (citterns and bandoras?)
carving anon. 1582 Staircase carvings from "Theobalds," William Cecil's (Lord Burghley's) house near London, now in Herstmonceaux Castle. Photos reprinted by permission of Peter Forrester.
According to Forrester, "Note (especially by position of the bridge relative to the bouts) the parallel bridge and frets on 6 course [bandora?], angled on 7 course."
"Monkey playing diatonically fretted cittern" drawing? from the German MS. Splendor Solis 1582 MS Harl. 3469, f.3., British Library Can be seen on the front cover of Roxana Gundry-Brookes' modern cittern tutor.
- drawing Veccho c.1588 London pen drawing. *LPG #45
MS. Add. 30342, fol. 144
"Music-making couple" engraving M. de Vos
(engr. by C. de Passe)
c. 1590 The Hague, Gemeentemuseum *LPG #62

"Birth and Death of Sir Henry Unton" (detail)
painting anon.(?) c. 1596 National Portrait Gallery, London. NPG 710. oil on panel. 74 x 163.2 cm
This detail is part of a "masque" scene and depicts a typical "English Consort" of six musicians playing (from top, going clockwise): lute, cittern, bass viol, bandora(?), treble viol, and flute.
See full painting at National Portrait Gallery website.

"Musica"
engraving F. de Vrient(?)
(engr. by C. Cort—died 1578)
16th c. The Hague, Gemeentemuseum *LPG #57
"Athena visits the Muses" painting Frans Floris [de Vriendt] 16th c. Antwerp, Condé on Scheldt Museum -
"Hearing" engraving M. de Vos
(engr. by N. de Bruyn — died 1656)
16th c. Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam *LPG #63
- engraving M. de Vos
(engr. by C. de Passe)
16th c. The Hague, Gemeentemuseum *LPG #64
mirror-image
"Hearing" engraving M. de Vos
(engr. by G. Fentzel)
16th c. New York, Public Library *LPG #65

"Adolescentia Amori"
engraving M. de Vos 16th c. ? -

"Terra"
engraving M. de Vos 16th c. ? -

"Apollo and the Muses"
painting M. de Vos 16th c. Brussels, Koninklijk Museum *LPG #61
"Marriage at Cana" painting Marten de Vos 1596-7 O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp

Oil on panel. 268 x 235 cm

Two lute players, a cittern player, and a singer perform from the balcolny above the wedding feast. While no music for an ensemble of this sort survives, the closest approximation would be the Pacoloni lute trios plus the cittern part from Viaera.


"Dives and Lazarus" (detail).
painting Marten de Vos 16th c. Private collection.

Oil on panel.

Three lute players and a cittern player play from a balcony in the detail from this image. Of note is that they all play from open music books (suggesting amateurs or servants rather than professionals?) and that this is the same instrumentation used by the Pacoloni/Viaera lute/cittern books.

(Image courtesy of Katharine Ara Paintings Conservation and Restoration.)

"Serenade" painting Jan Massijs (died 1575) 16th c. - *LPG #59
guitar-shape with slanting shoulders
"Music-making company" or "Joyful Reunion" painting Jan Massijs (died 1575) 16th c. Stockholm National Museum *LPG #60
guitar-shape with slanting shoulders

(detail)
painting? ? 16th c.? Gilling Castle, Yorkshire (England) Part of the frieze in the Great Chamber of Gilling Castle, Yorkshire (England). The lady in the center plays the cittern while the gentleman on either side of her play different size viols.
"Last Supper" painting Salviati 16th c.? sacristy of the Salute, Venice Originally in the monastery of the Spirito Santo in Isola. Cited in "Italian Citterns in the Museum of the Paris Conservatoire" by Peter Forrester, The Lute (Journal of the Lute Society), vol. XXXI (1991).
organ doors painting Salviati 16th c.? sacristy of the Salute, Venice Originally in the monastery of the Spirito Santo in Isola. One panel has a picture of Saul hurling a spear; the other has an image of David dropping his cittern. Cited in "Italian Citterns in the Museum of the Paris Conservatoire" by Peter Forrester, The Lute (Journal of the Lute Society), vol. XXXI (1991).
"Heavenly Choir" fresco Niccolo Pomarancio (1552 - 1626) dome of S Pudenziana, Rome -
"Amor Allegory" painting anon. c. 1600 - *LPG #68

Title page from Del Sonare
engraving? Agazzari 1607 - *LPG #12
The cittern is partially obscured — upper right hand corner. One can tell the cittern apart from the other instruments by the strings which pass over the bridge and attach to the end of the instrument.
Organ panel carving? R. van Zijl c.1608 Utrecht, Centraal Museum *LPG #69
"Wedding of Duke Joh. Fr. von Würtemberg" woodcut B. Küchbe 1611 - *LPG #122
woodcut. mirror-image

"Music-making company"
engraving Simon de Passe 1612 Veste Coburg art collection Inv.-Nr. VII 308.26

"Woman playing the cittern"
painting Caesar Bovetius van Everdingen 1617 Rouen, Musée des Beaux Arts (?) *LPG #83 (?)

"Vanitas"
engraving D. Matham 1622 Haarlem, Gem. Archief *LPG #71

"Minerva and the Muses"
painting Hendrik de Clerck (c.1570-c.1629) - -
"Apollo and the Muses" painting J. Tilens (1589-1630) Coll. Jacob van Merlen *LPG #66

"Allegoria della Scienza"
painting Giovanni Serodine c. 1630 Biblioteca Abrosiana, Milan(?) oil on canvas. 89 x 124 cm

"Young Man and Woman making Music"
painting Jan Molenaer c. 1630-32 National Gallery, London. cat. no. NG1293. Bought, 1889. Oil on canvas. 68 x 84 cm.
Larger image available at the National Gallery website.

"Allegory of Vanity" or "Lady World"
painting Jan Molenaer 1633 Toledo (Ohio), Museum of Art *LPG #73
oil on planel. 102 x 127 cm

"Family Portrait"
painting Jan Molenaer c. 1635 Frans Halsmuseum, Haarlem (on loan) = *LPG #74? (Listed by Grijp as "Company")
Oil on canvas, 63.5 x 81 cm
"Company" painting Jan Molenaer 1635 Rotterdam, Museum Boymans—Van Beuningen? *LPG #75
"Peasants" painting Jan Molenaer (c.1610-1668) Geneva, Musée d'Art et Historie *LPG #76
- painting Jan Molenaer (c.1610-1668) Leipzig *LPG #77

unknown title
painting Jan Molenaer (c.1610-1668) ? -

unknown title
painting Jan Molenaer (c.1610-1668) ? -
"Youth Playing a Guitar" painting Astolfo Petrazzi (1580 - 1653) ? Sold at auction by Sotheby's New York, January 27, 2006, sale NO8162. Listed in the catalogue of "Important Old Master Paintings," Lot no. 217. The title mistakenly identifies the instrument as a guitar (thanks to Michael Fleming and Peter Forrester for calling this painting to my attention).
The painting is remarkable in that it shows a cittern in very great detail. It appears to have 6 courses and very specific diatonic fretting.

"The duet"
painting Cornelis Saftleven c. 1635 Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna oil on panel, 34 x 53 cm
Depicts a very large (bass?) cittern.
"Self portrait with Rembrandt" painting (litho?) A. Brouwer 1638 Cologne, Heyer *LPG #72
litho made in 1850.

"Student Music"
engraving Crispijn de Passe (1564 - 1637) The Hague, Gemeentemuseum inv. PM 62zj
"Musical Conversation" engraving C. J. Visscher after Esais and Jan van de Velde (1586-1652) - Shown as the cover illustration to The Lute (Journal of the Lute Society) vol. XXIII, part 1 (1983).

"David Playing Before Saul"
painting Bernardo Cavallino 1645 Art History Museum, Vienna oil on canvas
Image courtesy of The CGFA

"Collegium Musicum"
painting C. Droochsloot 1645 Utrecht, Centraal Museum *LPG #84 (Listed by Grijp as "Interior")
"Tempatation of St. Jerome" (detail) painting Francisco de Zurbarán mid 17th c. ? -

"Vanitas"
painting Cornelis de Heem after 1661 ? -
"Terpsichore" engraving W. Kilian (1581-1662) The Hague, Gemeentemuseum *LPG #70
mirror-image

"Cittern Player (Allegory of Hearing)"
painting Cornelis Bega (1631/32-1664) Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Music Department panel, 41 x 35.8 cm.

"Allegory of Vanity"
painting G. B. Castiglione (c. 1610-65) ? -

"A Woman singing and a Man with a Cittern"
painting Godfried Schalcken c. 1665-70 National Gallery, London. cat. no. NG998. Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876. Oil on oak. 26.6 x 20.4 cm.
Larger image available at the National Gallery website.

"Young woman with cittern"
painting Godfried Schalcken (1634-1706) Bredius Museum, The Hague panel, 24 x 19 cm

"Cittern Player"
painting Gabriel Metsu (1629-67) - -
- painting Gabriel Metsu (1629-67) Florence, Uffizi *LPG #79
- engraving Gabriel Metsu (1629-67) - *LPG #80
engraving of LPG #79
- engraving Gabriel Metsu (1629-67) - *LPG #81
engraving of LPG #79

"A Woman with a Cittern and a Singing Couple at a Table"
painting Pieter de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) c. 1667 Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati (Ohio) oil on canvas

"Music-making family"
painting Pieter de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) (period 1668-1684) Cleveland, Ohio -

"Musical company" or "Trio"
painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) (period 1668-1684) Utah Museum of Fine Art? -
- painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) (period 1668-1684) - *LPG #87
- painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) (period 1668-1684) - *LPG #88
- painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) (period 1668-1684) - *LPG #89
- painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) (period 1668-1684) - *LPG #90
"Company making music" painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) (period 1668-1684) Collection Colnaghi *LPG #91
"Company making music" painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) (period 1668-1684) Collection Krupp *LPG #92
- painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) (period 1668-1684) - *LPG #93
- painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) (period 1668-1684) - *LPG #94
"Company making music" painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) (period 1668-1684) Collection Asscher *LPG #95
"Company making music" painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) (period 1668-1684) Collection Seymour *LPG #96
- painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) 1667 or 1677 - *LPG #97
Contains a "hooghlute" (mixture of cittern and lute)
- painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) (period 1668-1684) - *LPG #98
Contains a "hooghlute" (mixture of cittern and lute)
- painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) 1675 - *LPG #99
Contains a "hooghlute" (mixture of cittern and lute)
- painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) (period 1668-1684) - *LPG #100
Contains a "hooghlute" (mixture of cittern and lute)
- painting P. de Hoogh (a.k.a. de Hooch) (period 1668-1684) - *LPG #101
Contains a "hooghlute" (mixture of cittern and lute)

"Woman playing the cittern"
painting Jan Steen (1626-1670) - -

"Merry company on terrace"
painting Jan Steen (1626-1670) New York, Metropolitan Museum *LPG #78

"The love letter"
painting Jan Vermeer c. 1669-70 Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum *LPG #82
A very large image view of this picture can be seen at the Rijksmuseum page.

"The glass of wine"
painting Jan Vermeer 17th c. - -

"Frühstück des Musikanten" ("Musician's breakfast")
painting Job Adriaensz Berckheijde (1630-1693) c. 1670 Schwerin, Staatliche Museen Oil on canvas, 63.8 x 54.0 cm

"Musical Company"
painting Jan Hermansz van Bijlert (1597/8-1671) The Hague, Gemeentemuseum panel, 68 x 95.5 cm.

"Trompe l'oeil with Musical Instruments"
painting Cornelis Norbertus Gijsbrechts (a.k.a Gysbrechts) (c.1610-c.1675) Copenhagen, Statens Museum for Kunst? Includes both a cittern and an orpharion(?)

"Woman with cittern"
painting Pieter van Slingeland 1677 Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (?), Mildred Anna Williams Collection cat. no. 1940.25
"Company making music" painting P.C. van Slingelandt 17th c. San Francisco, Palace of the Legion *LPG #85

"Allegory of Hearing"
painting Jan van Kessel (1626-1679) Private Collection *LPG #67? (Grijp notes in his entry #67 that there is an "Allegory of Hearing" by "J. Brueghel II and J. van Kessel," but all art sources seem to indicate that this particular painting is by Kessel only. There is another "Allegory of Hearing" by Brueghel the elder upon which Kessel's work may be based; however, Breughel's work does not seem to contain a cittern.)
panel, 56 x 89 cm. The cittern can be seen on the table on the right.

"The Virgin surrounded of the symbols of vanity"
painting Jan van Kessel (1626-1679) Belgium, private collection(?) Oil on canvas.

"A Musical Company of Gentlemen and Ladies"
painting Frans van Mieris the Elder and (?) Willem van Mieris (1635-1681) private collection panel, 46.3 x 38.5 cm

"Duo"
painting Jan Verkolje I (1650-1693) private collection oil on canvas. 68 x 55.5 cm

Angel Playing the citra or cithara (cittern).
statue anon., Portuguese c. 1680 Monastery of Alcobaca, Leiria, Portugal. Image provided by Pedro Caldeira Cabral.
"The Family Portrait" painting Michiel van Musscher c. 1689 Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp oil on canvas(?) Inventory #739.
The image is currently in storage by the museum. Crackling of the paint has obscured some of the image, in particular the music from the open book of (cittern?!) music.
The following information comes from art history graduate student Robert E. Gerhardt, M.D.: Michiel van Musscher (Rotterdam 1645 - Amsterdam 1705) was a well-known portraitist in his time, but is almost unknown today. The girl playing the cittern [in the painting] is his daughter, shown in a large family portrait "The Family Portrait" of the artist and his immediate family; it is currently dated to ca. 1689. The museum also uses the title "Family of the Painter" for the work. (Feb. 2006)

"Still life with a volume of Wither's Emblems"
painting Edward Collier 1696 Tate Britain, Millbank, London No. 5916. According to Peter Forrester, this is a "very detailed cittern (worm-holes etc.) of Playford's period. Four double courses; 1 and 2 paired iron? 3 and 4 paired twisted brass."

"The chess-players"
painting Cornelis de Man (1621-1706) Budapest, Szépmüvészeti Mus. (Museum of Fine Arts) *LPG #86
Oil on canvas. 97.5 x 85 cm

"Musical Instruments"
painting Evaristo Baschenis mid-17th c.? Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels oil on canvas. 98.5 x 147 cm

"Musical Instruments"
painting Evaristo Baschenis mid-17th c.? Accademia Carrara, Bergamo(?) One of several paintings by Baschenis or his followers which may depict a ceterone (see the second pegbox just visible above the back of the lute).

(carved fireplace)
carving ? 17th c. Kilconquhar Castle, Fife, Scotland Photo courtesy of David Kilpatrick, http://www.maxwellplace.demon.co.uk/pandemonium/

"Mrs. Philip Thicknesse, née Ann Ford"
painting Thomas Gainsborough 1760 Art Museum, Cincinnati, USA oil on canvas. Depicts an English guittar.

"Old man with tortoises"
painting G. F. Cipper Tedesco (?) 18th c. Stockholm, Nat. Mus. *LPG #13

Portrait of a young musician.
painting Anonymous, French 18th c. ? -
"Musica" - engraving M. Lasne 18th c. - *LPG #46

"Lady with cittern"
painting Reinier de la Haye ? ? -

"Mercury and Erato"
painting Anon.—Flemish? ? - -

"Allegory of Hearing"
painting Jan van Balen ? - -

"Outdoor Gathering in Front of the Terrace" (detail)
painting Johann Georg Platzer ? - oil on copper. 50 X 65 cm
This painting was apparently the victim of the Nazis' seizure of Jewish cultural property in France during WWII and was a part of the "Jeu de Paume" Museum in Paris from 1940-1944. For more information, see The Documentation Project: Project for the Documentation of Wartime Cultural Losses ("View 3e").

"Hanging Instruments"
painting? anon.(?) - Dutch ? Nurenberg, Germanisch National Museum -


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