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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Symbolism of Musical Instruments In Old Famous Paintings Insight into some Musical Instruments Paintings

Music has played an important role in our life since ages and artists have been inspired by music and painted a lot of musical instruments. From the famous Vermeers paintings of musical instruments to Picasso guitar we know how music and musical instruments make way as inspirations for art.
Johanees Vermeer must have loved musical instruments and expressed in many artworks. Instruments and music was an important part of the early period peoples life style. Where only the rich and affording could indulge in this passion of music and playing and listening to music in concerts and programs was only for the few elite royal rich people. Harpsichord that looked like a piano was triangular in shape is seen in many of his works. The more rural local life style of people during his times were music was played in weddings, festivals and occasions but Vermeers works represent only the elite class with special musical instruments maybe where he must have been exposed to in a collectors home. “ A Lady standing at The Virginal” another beautiful piece of famous artwork by Vermeer also represents the elite upper class women, as it is found that ladies rich and upper class indulged in learning to play musical instruments.
The noble ladies were learned in music and usually formed as important subjects and inspiring artists.  We see Casimer Van Dan Daele “Two Women making Music” one of the examples of lots and lots of beautiful ladies playing lute or guitar in ancient rare and famous musical instruments paintings.
Instruments that have been since in ancient paintings of famous artists were guitar, piano, lute, trumpet, violen perhaps a symbol of wealth and royalty. The more humble instruments like the mouth organ or the flute still were never much seen in older famous artists works. Except for “The Girl with a flute”  which shows a flute in the lady’s hand. “The Guitar Player” “The Concert” “The Music Lesson” all indicate the strong presence and importance and influence of music in the life of the artist.
While early artist displayed musical instruments in somewhat realistic or symbolic manner there was a  whole lot of understanding and explanation for the importance of music and even today artists love to paint musical instruments as they represent a vehicle for happiness , enjoyment freedom, joy and peace.
From the cave men who found music in broken shells and hollow bones of animals music has come to play an important part to connect to our soul. The ancient Egyptian paintings also had many instruments mostly the lute in paintings.
The Chinese culture respecting the elements and wind has many musical instruments such as flute, drums and chimes, bells. Many types of flutes made of wood, silk threads, and stone used to produce music. Clarinet and saxophone with different sound levels also is seen in few artworks. The more influenced sufi works and Arabian artworks also have musical instruments like the duff, the Oud, Tha Kamanjah( violen), The Qanum, the Nay (flute) etc.
While the instruments in artworks , we see some detailed whereas some symbolic representations of emotions. An painter need not have complete knowledge of musical instruments for them to get inspired by the music coming out from these pieces. It is the emotions, ecstasy and joy, the heart hitting chords that make way for some inspired symbolic musical instruments artworks. 
Then the very famous father of cubism Picasso and Braque artworks influenced by geometric shapes. The famous Guitar took an important role in  his works.
“The Three Musicians” cubism painting by Pablo Picasso The left one playing clarinet, the centre playing guitar and the right holding music sheets, and then  “The Old Guitarist”
Today music has come up in many forms and many instruments right from the more modern key boards, pianos, to even innocent water bowls from the Chinese culture, playing music is symbolic of happiness and relaxation. We see a lot of abstract, cubism, realistic and surrealist fantasy music paintings today and it was not that I have not been influenced by these lovely instruments . While we see bold music abstract paintings with vibrant energy and colors we have drums, and electric guitars today that have some up in music instruments paintings, we also love the flute that is seen more in love paintings.

While many artists today also paint along with music and make great abstract works on notes of music we also see artists influenced by contemporary music styles and instruments. Soothing Music is happiness , music is peace, music takes us to another level, of spirituality, and instruments are means for happiness. Displaying symbolic artworks of musical instruments symbolize happiness and invisible positive feng shui energy.
Musical Instruments Painting by Rizwana A.Mundewadi
Music and art go hand in hand in uplifting the energy of any space and giving that extra happy force energy to attract good health, happiness wealth and prosperity.
Thank You and All the Best from Rizwana!

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