Sunday, November 23, 2014

19C & Early 20C American & European Women Playing (& Guarding!) Lutes and Mandolins

Jules Joseph Lefebvre (French painter, 1836-1911) Girl with a Mandolin

William Merritt Chase (American Impressionist Painter, 1849-1916) The Mandolin Player 1878

The term lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck (either fretted or unfretted) & a deep round back. The lute is used in instrumental music from the early Renaissance to the late Baroque eras. A mandolin is similar to a lute. Early 17th-century mandolins had 6 double courses of gut strings, tuned similarly to lutes, and plucked with the fingertips. Modern mandolins—which originated in Naples, Italy in the 3rd quarter of the 18C—commonly have four double courses (4 pairs) of metal strings, which are plucked with a plectrum. It has a pear-shaped body with a deeply vaulted back, a short fretted fingerboard, and four pairs of steel strings. The American folk mandolin is a shallow, flat-backed version. It is played with a plectrum; each pair of strings is strummed rapidly back and forth to produce a characteristic tremolo.

Arvid Nyholm (1866–1927) Girl with a Lute

Berthe Morisot (1841-1895). The Mandolin

Cephas Giovanni Thompson (1809–1888) Lady with a Lute

De Scott Evans (1847–1898) Lady with a Lute

De Scott Evans (1847–1898) Woman Playing a Mandolin

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) Young Woman with a Mandolin

Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) Antiquated Music (also known as Portrait of Sarah Sagehorn Frishmuth)

Thomas Wilmer (American artist, 1851-1928) Lady with a Lute

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851–1938) The Lute 

William Morris Hunt (American artist, 1824–1879) Portrait of Ellen M. Brown

Edmund Tarbell (American painter, 1862-1938) Marion Hiller Fenno at Nine as Mandlinata 1887-8