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Creator Name: Todini, Michele
Creator Role: Maker
Creator Name-CRT: Made by Michele Todini
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1673
Creation End Date: 1677
Creation Date: ca. 1675
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Chordophone/plucked
Materials and Techniques: Wood, various materials
Dimensions: L. of inner instrument 8 ft. 9 7/8 in. (269 cm); W. of inner instrument 34 3/8 in. (87.2 cm); D. of inner instrument 7 1/2 in. (19 cm); 3-octave span 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm); sounding L. at present (longer of pair for-plucking point) FF 221.9 (14.8), c2 27.4 (7.5), F3 9.9 (4.4), original c2 was approx. 11 in. (28 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 89.4.2929
Credit Line: The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
This gilded case encloses an Italian harpsichord of typical design but unusual length. Decorated with a frieze depicting the Triumph of Galatea and supported by three Tritons, the harpsichord originally formed part of Michele Todini's Galeria Armonica and was described in his catalogue of 1676. The flanking figures of Polyphemus playing a bagpipe (Todini invented one like it) and Galatea, holding a lute, were displayed with the harpsichord in front of a "mountain" in which a small pipe organ was concealed. The organ simulated the bagpipe's sound and the harpsichord represented the sound of the lute. Todini designed several such lavish instruments and charged admission from the aristocrats who visited his gallery. The artistic quality of the case ranks it among the finest examples of Roman Baroque decorative art; Todini's ingenuity and search for new forms of instrumental expressivity grew out of the same musical climate that led to the invention of the piano.
AMICA ID: MMA_.89.4.2929
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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