Mottos and Metaphors: Towards an Interpretation of the Emblems in Frescobaldi’s Primo libro d’arie musicali

Barker, Naomi J. (2019). Mottos and Metaphors: Towards an Interpretation of the Emblems in Frescobaldi’s Primo libro d’arie musicali. Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music, 25(1)

URL: https://sscm-jscm.org/jscm-issues/volume-25-no-1/b...

Abstract

Frescobaldi’s Primo libro d’arie musicali (Florence: Landini, 1630) is richly decorated with figural emblems, with moral and political implications. In conjunction with the poetic texts, the emblems allude metaphorically to the city of Florence and the volume’s dedicatee, Grand Duke Ferdinando II de’ Medici, and also to Frescobaldi’s Roman patrons, the Barberini family. One emblem in particular ties Frescobaldi to the Bolognese academician Adriano Banchieri. The likely intellectual agent behind the emblems’ literary and political program was the connoisseur and courtier Lelio Guidiccioni. The book reflects a courtly listening practice: reading and contemplation as well as singing and hearing.

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