Description: Two Musicians

Instruments at the ready, this musical pair await only the full attention of their audience before they begin to play. Their candid gazes, as well as their hands and instruments, appear to reach out of the picture plane in order to make a personal connection with each and every viewer.

At the right, an older, bearded man wears a gold-colored robe draped over his deep blue tunic, the white of his rolled-up sleeves matching the white feather in his cap. He reaches to turn the tuning pegs, which tighten or loosen the strings of the lute he plays. The body of his lute leans on a paper sheaf or book, probably of sheet music, that sits on the top of a railing or parapet.

The man’s youthful companion at the left displays evidence of musical versatility. He cradles a violin to his neck, the bow delicately balanced in his fingers, while in front of him, the flared bell of a wind instrument, possibly a shawm or oboe, extends out over the railing.

  • Artist: Bernardo Strozzi, Italian, 1581—1644
  • Created: 1630—1635
  • Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund,  53.8