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A woman representing Necessity, seated on a throne supported by the Fates, is flanked by the planets and by Sirens; representing the Harmony of Spheres. Etching by Agostino Carracci after A. Boscoli after B. Buontalenti.

Buontalenti, Bernardo, 1536-1608.
[between 1589 and 1595]
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About this work


Bardi's "Intermedi" illustrated the power of music. Three of them (nos. 1, 4, and 5) described "musica mundana" or cosmic harmony, and the other three (nos. 2, 3, and 6) "musica humana" or music at the human level: the first of these (represented in the present etching) showed the harmony of the spheres (Dizionario biografico degli italiani, vol. 6, p. 301, s.v. Bardi). In the centre Necessity holds the spindle of the world. Her throne is supported by the three Parcae (Fates). To left and right of the throne are the seven planets and Astraea. Below, twelve Sirens (DeGrazia Bohlin, loc. cit., reporting the interpretation of A. Warburg)


[Italy] : [publisher not identified], [between 1589 and 1595]

Physical description

1 print : etching, with engraving ; image 24 x 34.4 cm



Creator/production credits

After a drawing in the Uffizi attributed to A. Boscoli, after a drawing by B. Buontalenti in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Buontalenti's drawing is a design for an intermezzo, the first of six intermezzi by Giovanni de' Bardi, performed in the play La pellegrina by Girolamo Bargagli, as part of the festivities honouring the marriage of Ferdinando I de' Medici and Christine of Lorraine in May 1589

Publications note

Diane DeGrazia Bohlin, Prints and related drawings by the Carracci family: a catalogue raisonné, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979, pp. 266-269 and front pastedown; Agostino no. 153


Wellcome Library no. 38968i


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