Franco-Flemish double-manual harpsichord, originally a 'transposing' harpsichord made in Antwerp in 1617 by an unknown maker.  It was given a bass ravalement in Paris in 1750 by François Étienne Blanchet and it was later given a treble ravalement in 1786 by Jacques Barberini and Nicolas Hoffmann.

 

Detail of the case Bentside decoration 4

          The outside of the cheek, bentside and tail are decorated with paintings of putti or cupids engaged in various amorous pursuits which, collectively, might be called The Triumph of Love.  Here they can be seen returning from the hunt with their chosen victim pulled along in a chariot.  Other scenes show similar figures engaged in sharpening their arrows, and in target practice.

           The painting of the central charioteer figure has been little re-touched and is one of the most convincing indications that francois Boucher is the author of the figure paintings.  The putti are remarkably similar to a number of paintings by Boucher in various museums and galleries throughout Europe and North America.

Details of the Franco-Flemish harpsichord

 

Important Features of this harpsichord

 

A brief history of the musical and decorative states of the Franco-Flemish harpsichord

 

Details of the original state of the instrument

 

Details of the eighteenth-century states of this harpsichord

  

 Details of the modern history of this harpsichord

 

 Problems encountered in the ethical restoration of this harpsichord

 

 The attributions of the 1750 state to  François Étienne Blanchet, Christophe Huet and François Boucher

 

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This page was last revised on 09 December 2018.