Fortieth Anniversary Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland in honor of William Mathewson Milliken 1960.20
Catalogue raisonné: Walch 18
Since antiquity, music was considered to inspire two different effects: it could elevate the soul to spiritual thoughts, or arouse passions both violent and sensual. In this genre scene, two transients engage in an epic struggle. The hurdy-gurdy, slung across the body of one of the vagabonds, was considered a "base" instrument whose melodies heated the senses without uplifiting the spirit. In his Syntagma Musicum of 1618, the musical theorist Michael Praetorius dubbed the hurdy-gurdy a "fiddle for peasants and loose women."
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