One of the ways we can get a feeling for the way musicians played at any given place and time is by looking at contemporary paintings. The trouble is, while this can be very informative, it is also riddled with difficulties. How accurate is the painting? Was the artist portraying fact, or some artistic inner vision? Was the artist technically up to the task? Is the painting portraying current practice, or copying an older painting? What is the context and aim of the painting? Is the subject of the painting a model, or a live musician? The list continues!
Nonetheless, taken together, with due attention to provenance, I think that this sort of evidence can be very useful. So here we are - a series of pictures that I have assembled over the years. Click on the thumbnail images on this page to link to a larger image with information about the painting including artist and date. You can subsequently navigate through the images using the little arrow symbols at the edges, or the arrow keys on your keyboard. The cross (top right), or "esc" key returns you to the thumbnails. The little arrow in a box symbol - - loads a large scale version on the picture (if available), where you can scroll and zoom. Use your browsers back button to return to the normal image.