Two Beggars Fighting

Two Beggars Fighting

1610-1620

Jacques Bellange

(French, c.1575-1616)

Etching

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

Catalogue raisonné: Walch 18

State: I/II

Description

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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