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Sea Dragon

Date:
17th century
Geography:
Italy
Medium:
Wood, brass
Dimensions:
Approx. : H. 20.3 x W. 8.9 x L. 138.4cm (8 x 3 1/2 x 54 1/2in.) Bocal & Reed: L. 22.9 cm (9 in.)
Classification:
Aerophone-Reed Vibrated-double reed
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
89.4.881a-c
  • Description

    This and a similar dragon in The Cincinnati Art Museum are the only known instruments of this kind to survive. Used as a stage prop, it probably appeared in masquerades and theatrical scenes depicting the underworld. The instruments were capable of producing sounds and noises that supported onstage dramaturgical actions both visually and aurally. Made from two joined hollowed out lengths of wood, the dragon was then sculpted, painted a dark green and gilded on its head and fins. During the 19th century the body was partially re-painted black. The original mouthpiece and bocal are now missing.

  • References

    Michael Snodin, Nigel Llewellyn, in Baroque: Style in the Age of Magnificence 1620-1800. Exhibition catalogue., The Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 2009, pg. 152, cat. 56, fig. 3.11, ill.

    Ed. Dottoressa Franca Falletti, Renato Meucci, Gabriele Rossi-Rognoni. Meraviglie sonore: strumenti musicali del barocco italiano. Giunti Editore S.p.A.. Milan, 2007, pg. 159, cat. 12, ill.

    "Two European Wind Instruments in the Shape of a Dragon." Music in Art (2007), vol. 32 (1-2).

    Dottoressa Franca Falletti, Renato Meucci, Gabriele Rossi-Rognoni, in Marvels of Sound and Beauty: Italian Baroque Musical Instruments. Exhibition catalogue., Giunti Editore S.p.A.. Milan, 2007, pg. 159, cat. 12, ill.

    Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1904, vol. I, pg. 148.



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