Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Seven String Bass Viol, 1720
    Nicolas Bertrand (French, 1686–1735)
    Wood

    L. 27 7/8 in. (70.8 cm)
    Labeled: Nicolas Bertrand / a Paris 1720.
    The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889 (89.4.1343)

    This instrument retains its original neck, which was reshaped when the viol was converted to a cello, probably in the late eighteenth or nineteenth century. Bass viols of French origin feature seven strings, an invention of the French viol player Jean de Sainte-Colombe (fl. 1658–87, died by 1701). Nicolas Bertrand, one of the most celebrated makers of viols, incorporated this feature in his bass viols.

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    On view: Gallery 684
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    Seven String Bass Viol, 1720
    Nicolas Bertrand (French, 1686–1735)
    Wood

    L. 27 7/8 in. (70.8 cm)
    Labeled: Nicolas Bertrand / a Paris 1720.
    The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889 (89.4.1343)


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