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Music and Art 1450 - 1800 Adam Busiakiewicz Wednesday 14 November 2018

This Study Day will aim to illustrate the many connections between music and art from the Medieval period to the Eighteenth Century, with a particular focus on Old Master paintings. Although music is often separated from the visual arts in the current day, many great artists were also musicians and took both disciplines extremely seriously. Paintings and sculpture illustrate how music was performed and consumed centuries ago, and allow us to glimpse into the past with both our eyes and ears.


As part of this lecture several pieces of music will be performed live on a lute.


As usual there will be three sessions, two before lunch and one in the afternoon.

1. Medieval to Renaissance

This lecture will explore the changes that occurred during the late Medieval period to the Renaissance, and how the rise of Protestantism and Humanism affected the purpose of music in art, religion and society. Paintings by Van Eyck, Holbein, Titian and countless others that feature musicians and musical performance will help us to navigate this period in both northern and southern Europe.

2. Baroque

Beginning in Caravaggio's Rome and ending in Vermeer's Netherlands, this section will deal with the various approaches that artists and musicians took to capture the emotional energies of the Seventeenth Century. Musical scenes feature heavily in both Catholic and Protestant art, yet their appearance often represented drastically different themes.

3. Music and Painting in the Age of Enlightenment

Despite the prominence of Opera in the Eighteenth Century, it was during this period that music making became a truly widespread activity in the home as well as the court. The increasing number of paintings, portraints and drawings of musicians and music - making from this century provide us with an unrivalled opportunity to investigate the significance of music in the age of reason.