A Franco-Flemish double-manual harpsichord,
Detail of the case cheek decoration
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 sharpening their arrows in preparation for shooting some hapless victim and sending him or her into swoons of ardent desire. Other scenes show similar figures engaged, firstly, in target practice and, finally, returning from the hunt with their chosen victim pulled along in a chariot.
The painting has been done in oil, and is painted on a ground of thick gold leaf. This type of decoration was known in the eighteenth-century as ‘vernis martin’ after the Martin brothers who invented and developed this luxurious type of furniture decoration. The figures in this charming scene have been heavily re-touched making their attribution very difficult.
This page was last revised on 19 December 2021.