The Queen of Instruments, the Lute within Old Masters Paintings

– Adam Busiakiewicz

The lute holds a special place in the history of art: painters of the Italian Renaissance depicted golden-haired angels plucking its delicate strings, evoking celestial harmony; in the sixteenth century, during the rise of humanism, the lute was a becoming pastime of educated courtiers, as depicted by the likes of Holbein and Titian; throughout the seventeenth century, the instrument continued to play a key role in emphasising the intimate, debauched and transient pleasures of interior scenes by Jan Steen and portraits by Frans Hals. This lecture looks at the lute, and other musical instruments, as devices to express various aspects of the human character throughout the ages.

The lecture will include some live lute music.

Adam Busiakiewicz is an Art Historian, lutenist and lecturer. After completing his BA in History at UCL in 2010 he held the position of Head of Historical Interpretation (curator) at Warwick Castle. He left the castle in 2013 after winning a full AHRC studentship to pursue a Master’s Degree in Fine and Decorative Art at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in Art History at Warwick University after winning a CADRE Postgraduate Scholarship in 2017. He is an accredited Arts Society lecturer and also lectures at the Wallace Collection and at the National Gallery.


Monday 20 April, 2020


11·30 am - 1·00 pm
Norden Farm Centre for the Arts


Norden Farm Centre for the Arts