The Music Lesson (1788). Michel Garnier (French, 1753-1819). Oil on canvas. Garnier’s delicate and highly polished painting style was particularly suited for depicting the elegant lifestyle of fashionable Parisians. The artist’s detailed attention to the lady’s dress, the harp, the music book, and the decor accurately conveys the richness of the era.
Cantigas Golden Quatrefoil necklace. In the 13th century, the progressive King Alfonso X "El Sabio" of Castile commissioned (and perhaps helped compose) a beautifully illuminated manuscript of music. The collection of songs is known as the "Cantigas de Santa Maria" and its pages are adorned with lively musicians playing all sorts of instruments. Like many of the illuminations of the Cantigas, our graceful lute player makes his music against a intricately patterned dark blue background.