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Book-, wall- and panel-painting count as important pictorial evidence of the history of popular and instrumental music. But they were not intended simply to illustrate, but also to instruct. David with his harp, Salome's dance and the host of angels playing musical instruments are particularly familiar Biblical themes. [4] In secular images we find the singing troubadour, round dances or the personification of music.

Renaissance - the arts in competition

Social changes started in the late Middle Ages: painters, sculptors and architects began to be classed as artists. In the early days of the Renaissance, the arts started to compete with each other. Until then the fine arts had been subordinate to the artes liberales like music, but this was questioned by universally talented artists like Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) and Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). One key reason was the discovery of central perspective. This led to a close link between art and mathematics, as artistic composition was now subject to mathematical rules.

Alberti and Leonardo studied perspective intensively, and demanded enhanced status for the


fine arts in their writings, particularly in relation to music.

Alberti was principally concerned with the arts' competition between each other. He felt that painting should be allotted the highest status. As a humanistic scholar he insisted that painters should not just have artistic talent, but should also be taught all the free arts, above all geometry. In his theoretical treatise on painting «De Pictura» of 1435/36 he writes: «Hence painting enjoys such high esteem that its exponents, given the admiration accorded to their works, are almost inclined to think that they are to the greatest possible degree similar to God. And is it not further the case that painting should be deemed the teacher of all the other arts - or at least their outstanding adornment?" [5] And Alberti goes on to write: «So: this art gives pleasure, if it is cultivated; it ensures esteem, wealth and eternal fame only if it is so cultivated that it reaches a high standing, Given this - as painting turns our to be the best and most honourable adornment of all things, worthy of free men, beloved equally of the learned and the unlearned - I require all the more emphatically of youth that is eager to learn that they

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