The wisp of straw

A medallion of 1574 illustrates the notion of sympathetic sounds, symbolised by the strings of two lutes. This motif, drawn from Neoplatonic literature, aims to illustrate the secret resonances that move both heavenly and earthly bodies. It is used in emblematic literature as in poetry or erotic painting. The scientists of the seventeenth century, who deconstructed this explanation of the world, still used the lute as a reference.