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The Queen of Instruments: the Lute within Old Master Paintings Adam Busiakiewicz Wednesday 20 November 2019

The lute holds a special place in the history of art: painters of the Italian Renaissance depicted golden-haired angels plucking its delicate strings, evoking celestial harmony; in the sixteenth century, during the rise of humanism, the lute was a becoming pastime of educated courtiers, as depicted by the likes of Holbein and Titian; throughout the seventeenth century, the instrument continued to play a key role in emphasising the intimate, debauched and transient pleasures of interior scenes by Jan Steen and portraits by Frans Hals. This lecture looks at the lute, and other musical instruments, as devices to express various aspects of the human character throughout the ages. Adam will play some pieces to accompany the lecture.


Adam Busiakiewicz is an Independent Art Historian and Guide Lecturer at the Wallace Collection. After completing his Bachelor’s Degree in History at UCL in 2010 he held the position of Head of Historical Interpretation (curator) at Warwick Castle. He left the castle in 2013 after winning a full AHRC studentship to pursue a Master’s Degree in Fine and Decorative Art at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London. In December 2014 he became the youngest Guide Lecturer at the Wallace Collection, where he regularly gives talks, tours and lectures to both public and professional audiences. Adam is currently planning a publication on the Grevilles of Warwick Castle, and has had articles published by the British Art Journal and Hispanic Lyra (Spain’s leading Guitar History publication).