THE INSTRUMENT OF VOLUPTUOUSNESS
To the western mind, the tablature and symbolic value of the lute evoke the Renaissance and the early Baroque. The lute’s iconic shape means that it symbolises many things: it can be an attribute of an allegory or an accessory in genre painting, and it is an instrument that is over-represented in the arts. It is a courtly object and therefore socially discriminating, an emblem of harmony and a poetical metaphor; the lute represents delight in both music and love. The Lute Iconography website is divided into 16 chapters that analyse the history of these visual themes. The site considers the narrative, allegorical or symbolic functions of the lute and its players. And by putting these images in context, it explores the relation between representation and musical reality. English website only includes abstracts.