La Saltarelle

La Saltarelle

1800s

Dominque Louis Papety

(French, 1815-1849)

Watercolor and gouache with selective gum glazing over a faint graphite underdrawing

Support: Heavyweight cream wove paper

Sheet: 25.4 x 35.7 cm (10 x 14 1/16 in.)

Bequest of Muriel Butkin 2010.171

Location

Description

During the 15th century, La Saltarelle was a popular Neapolitan court dance named for its particular leaping step, after the Italian verb saltare (to jump). Lively and merry, it was played in a fast triple meter. In the 19th century, the saltarello was featured in the Carnival celebrations preceding Lent in Rome. After witnessing the Roman Carnival of 1831, the German composer Felix Mendelssohn incorporated the dance into the finale of one of his masterpieces, the Italian Symphony.

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