Jan 9, 2013

The Woman with a Tambourine

The Woman with a Tambourine


Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo

(Italian, 1727-1804)

Pen and brown ink and brush and brown wash, over black chalk; framing lines in pen and brown ink over graphite

Support: Cream(1) laid paper

Sheet: 35.4 x 47.3 cm (13 15/16 x 18 5/8 in.); Image: 29.7 x 41.7 cm (11 11/16 x 16 7/16 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 1947.12



Observed by Punchinello and friends, a centaur is subdued by a maiden’s musical charms. Rendered touchingly vulnerable, the creature lies with its head on the girl’s lap. One of the simplest instruments, the tambourine was typically played by itinerant musicians—nymphs, vagabonds, seducers—and was traditionally considered the quintessential attribute of the outsider, an aspect reinforced in the 20th century by Bob Dylan’s "Mr. Tambourine Man."

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