The Lute Player

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The Lute Player is a composition by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio. It used to exist in two versions, one in the Wildenstein Collection and another in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. However, a third from Badminton House, Gloucestershire, came to light in 2007.

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Giclee Print – Paper:
Giclee print on premium archival quality Fine Art Matte paper. Certificate of Authenticity included. Shipped rolled and ready to be framed.

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Exhibition quality canvas stretched over wooden stretcher bars w/mirrored edge so none of the original image is lost. Certificate of Authenticity included. Ready to hang on your wall.


Caravaggio’s early biographer Giovanni Baglione gives the following description of a piece done by the artist for his patron Cardinal Francesco Del Monte:

E dipinse [per il Cardinale Del Monte]… anche un giovane, che sonava il Lauto, che vivo, e vero il tutto parea con una caraffa di fiori piena d’acqua, che dentro il reflesso d’ua fenestra eccelentemente si scorgeva con altri ripercotimenti di quella camera dentro l’acqua, e sopra quei fiori eravi una viva rugiada con ogni esquisita diligenza finta. E questo (disse) che fu il piu bel pezzo, che facesse mai. (“He also painted [for Cardinal Del Monte] a young man, playing the Lute, who seemed altogether alive and real with a carafe of flowers full of water, in which you could see perfectly the reflection of a window and other reflections of that room inside the water, and on those flowers there was a lively dew depicted with every exquisite care. And this (he said) was the best piece that he ever painted.)” 

The painting exists in three versions. All show a boy with soft facial features and thick brown hair, accompanying himself on the lute as he sings a madrigal about love. As in the Uffizi Bacchus, the artist places a table-top in front of the figure. In the Hermitage and Badminton House versions it is bare marble, with a violin on one side and a still life of flowers and fruit on the other. In the Wildenstein version the table is covered with a carpet and extended forwards to hold a tenor recorder, while the still life is replaced by a spinetta (a small keyboard instrument) and a caged songbird. The musical instruments are valuable and probably came from Del Monte’s personal collection.

The Lute Player (Caravaggio), (last visited Aug. 9, 2022).

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