Jul 18, 2014
Nov 30, 2005

Two Beggars Fighting

Two Beggars Fighting


Jacques Bellange

(French, c.1575–1616)


Fortieth Anniversary Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland in honor of William Mathewson Milliken 1960.20

Catalogue raisonné: Walch 18

State: I/II



Since antiquity, music was considered to inspire two different effects: it could elevate the soul to spiritual thoughts, or arouse passions both violent and sensual. In this genre scene, two transients engage in an epic struggle. The hurdy-gurdy, slung across the body of one of the vagabonds, was considered a "base" instrument whose melodies heated the senses without uplifiting the spirit. In his Syntagma Musicum of 1618, the musical theorist Michael Praetorius dubbed the hurdy-gurdy a "fiddle for peasants and loose women."

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