Hermitage Recreates Sounds of the Master of the Female Half-Lengths

November 22 2021

Video: State Hermitage Museum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

As today is Saint Cecilia's Day, it seems only right that I share this brilliant new video produced by the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The video (featuring English subtitles) shows a recreation of the music found in a painting by the Master of the Female Half-Lengths.

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This painting and composition has intrigued me for many years, especially as there are a few known versions that have survived. I've always been intrigued by the open and empty lute case that is found hanging on the wall behind the players. It is so purposefully placed there one imagines it had a specific meaning. A suggestion perhaps that these women were unmarried (?) Other suggestions I've heard are far too graphic to be retold here.

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