barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


Jan Lievens (1607-1674)

Jacques Gaultier, lutenist

Etching

Paper 265 x 220 mm; mount 557 x 405 mm

 

Jacques Gaultier (about 1600-1652) was a successful lute-player and composer at the court of Charles I of England (reigned 1625-49). Gaultier’s lute has a split peg-box to accommodate additional strings, increasing the range of the instrument. The lute was the most popular instrument during the Renaissance and early 17th century due to its versatility – it could play both melody and accompaniment. At this time, portraits usually depicted members of the aristocracy or the learned professions; this image reflects the respect Gaultier commanded as a musician. The luxurious furs of his costume indicate wealth and accentuate the prestige of his profession.

Purchased 1956 (No.56.12)

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