Made by Richard Meares / Viola da Gamba / ca. 1680Made by Richard Meares
Viola da Gamba
ca. 1680

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Creator Name: Meares, Richard
Creator Role: Maker
Creator Name-CRT: Made by Richard Meares
Title: Viola da Gamba
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1670
Creation End Date: 1690
Creation Date: ca. 1680
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Chordophone with neck/bowed
Materials and Techniques: wood
Dimensions: L. of body 25 3/4 in. (65.3 cm); W. of upper bout 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm); W. of center bout 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm); W. of lower bout 14 3/4 in. (37.4 cm); H. of rib top block 3 1/2 in. (8.8 cm); H. of rib center bout 5 in. (12.6 cm); H. of rib bottom block 5 in. (12.7 cm); L. of string 25 3/8 in.(64.4 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1982.324
Credit Line: Purchase, Louis V. Bell Fund, Mrs. Vincent Astor Gift, and funds from various donors, 1982

Viols, the most esteemed bowed instruments of the late Renaissance, were only gradually displaced by the violin family. Viols differ from violins chiefly in shape, in number of strings and tuning, and in having fretted necks. All viols are played in an upright position between the knees or on the legs ("gamba" means "leg"), and the bow is held palm upward. Their sound is less brilliant and quieter than that of violin's. Chamber music for a consort of four to six viols was composed during the Renaissance and Baroque eras, and solo works for the bass viol were being played until nearly the end of the eighteenth century.

AMICA ID: MMA_.1982.324
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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