Lute Player

Known in many versions

Theodor Rombouts, Flemish (active Antwerp and Italy), 1597? - 1637

Geography:
Made in Southern Netherlands (modern Belgium), Europe

Date:
c. 1620

Medium:
Oil on canvas

Dimensions:
43 3/4 x 39 1/4 inches (111.1 x 99.7 cm) Frame: 49 3/4 x 45 x 3 inches (126.4 x 114.3 x 7.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
Cat. 679

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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Label:
Lute players were often ridiculed for the inordinate amount of time they devoted to tuning their instruments. The intense look of this street musician seems to underscore the difficulty of the task and suggest that perhaps more than musical harmony is at stake. Showing a musical instrument being tuned was a veiled reference to striving for harmony in love. Stringed instruments could also symbolize temperance, especially when shown in the company of a tankard and a pipe, as here.