Giovanni Lanfranco’s painting Venus Playing the Harp depicts a harp very similar to the Barberini Harp. Elisabetta Frullini shares analysis and archival research to propose that Lanfranco might have indeed depicted the Barberini Harp, on commission by his friend, the harpist Marco Marazzoli. Frullini’s research highlights the aesthetic and social importance of this precious instrument and the representations of it.
Dinko Fabris presents his research into Luca Antonio Eustachio, described in Marin Mersenne's Harmonie Universelle (1637) as the inventor of triple harp. Whilst Eustachio’s role in harp development remains unclear, Fabris clearly establishes that Eustachio did exist and offers significant insights into his role of a musician and cameriere segreto to pope Paolo V.
May 16, 2022Read more
Joachim Steinheuer provides rich overview of the different uses of harps in the intermedi, madrigals and early opera and its relation to the mythological figures of Apollo, Orpheus and Arion. Through intriguing comparisons of the musical and iconographic sources, the harp appears as an ensemble instrument, as the main continuo, and as a solo instrument, and in some unusual accompaniment combinations.
May 15, 2022Read more
Eric Kleinmann shares findings of decades-long research into and practical examinations of the Barberini Harp as part of his work on building reproductions of this famous Baroque harp. Harfenlabor commissioned Kleinmann to build a small-scale model of the top of the harp for experiments with stringing, and present analysis of changes made to the harp, and other aspects pertinent to building a copy.
May 15, 2022Read more
A drawing titled Progetto per un’arpa, in the collection of the Uffizi, presents a project for a harp with a richly decorated column. Ursula Verena Fischer Pace presents arguments stating that not only was this a design drawing for the Barberini Harp, but also that the drawing ought to be attributed to Giovanni Battista Soria. Soria had worked for the Barberini; his hand is clearly recognisable in this design for a harp.
May 14, 2022Read more
Harpist and researcher Mara Galassi and master luthier Dario Pontiggia discuss some of the finer points of making copies of historical harps, in particular, of the pros and cons of building a true copy of the Barberini Harp. As a luthier, Pontiggia believes he ought to “correct the mistakes" on the Barberini. As a performer, Galassi believes a true copy would offer valuable insights into the musical perspective of the period.
May 12, 2022Read more
This is a video account of aspects of the scientific process deployed by the wood scientists Volker Haag and Valentia Zemke during the The Barberini Harp Wood Species Identification in the Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali Roma in 2018. It’s a delicate process, as the scientists must approach this precious harp with utmost care, due to conservation concerns.
May 11, 2022Read more
Institut für Holzforschung, Thünen-Institut (Hamburg) presents the findings of the anatomical determination of structural features for wood species on the Barberini Harp, detected with the non-destructive high-resolution 3D-reflected light microscopy and compared with the data held in the scientific wood collection at the Thünen-Institut. On February 18, 2019, Volker Haag shared his findings in this report to Harfenlabor.