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The next project on the priority list - a painted harpsichord from 1608 - is presented in video presentation XX: "Adventure Research - Insight into current Work". It also appears in video contribution IV: "From the cantastoria to the soundfilm". According to the author, the pictorial invention goes back to Queen Christine of Sweden, who had a harpsichord that had been stolen in Prague painted over. Video XVIII "From the Garden of Eden to Arcadia" supports this assumption. As a result, a painting could be expected in the lower layer of paint that could still be viewed up to 1650 and was intended for the imperial court or its immediate surroundings.
The possibility of assignment to specific clients is extremely rare and in the present case it is already clear what value art scientific research has in organology. Not only that the opera libretto on which the pictorial invention is based could be found - the conscious choice of scene and the deviations from the original text reveal the identity and preferences of the client.
With an X-ray, the source situation will expand again and there will be a new task in identifying the painter of the lower layer of paint, which can be achieved with the help of preliminary drawings or comparative paintings, even if the condition is fragmentary - especially because there were no insignificant artists active for the imperial court. The motive as such will allow own statements.
After the front panel was also painted over, the discovery of a coat of arms would not be surprising. If the working hypothesis presented can be verified by an X-ray examination, the history of the instrument, which Andreas Ruckers made in Antwerp, could be reconstructed almost completely - from there it started an adventure worthy of a film, if only because it survived the 30-year war unscathed - and by the way would result in high probability that Allessandro Scarlatti played on it in the Villa Riario in Rome in the presence of the Queen.
The more recent history of the instrument - including conversion to a fortepiano and reconstruction to a harpsichord - and the fact that it survived the two world wars in Brownsea Island is well known. It is now in the Russell Collection in Edinburgh.
My special thanks go to the curators, John Barnes and Grant O'Brien for the opportunity to undertake an in-depth analysis of the painting as part of a traineeship.