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harpsichord with virginal Ruckers

chordophone

Let us be clear from the outset: there is not much left of the original instrument of Ioannes Ruckers But so was the fate of many exceptional instruments. Time and again they were adapted to new repertoires and changing interior design fashions. The keyboards of this harpsichord/virginal combination were already adapted in the late 17th century. Moreover, during a thorough restoration at the beginning of the 20th century, the lid was ornamented with a painting after Apollo and the Muses by Maerten De Vos (1532 - 1603).

But if only the keys and a few structural elements are by Ruckers himself, can this still be considered a masterpiece? Sure enough, as for about one hundred years, starting in the late 16th century, the Ruckers family  from Antwerp were among the absolute top of keyboard instrument makers. The harpsichords and virginals from their workshops are among the best and most beautiful ever made worldwide.  The mim has no fewer than 13 Ruckers instruments, among which some in their original state.

We chose this harpsichord/virginal combination because  as a 2-in-1 model it is truly unique in the world. What is more, the original painting by De Vos is in the collection of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, which allows us to show it next to this Ruckers for the duration of the  #100masters. This will enable visitors to see how both instrument and representation were reinterpreted through the centuries.

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harpsichord with virginal Ruckers
harpsichord with virginal Ruckers
harpsichord with virginal Ruckers
harpsichord with virginal Ruckers
harpsichord with virginal Ruckers
Maerten De Vos (1532-1603) "Apollo and the Muses", RMFA inv.3882