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The Music Making Couple

A work made of round engraving on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of round engraving on ivory laid paper.




Monogrammist b. g.
German, active ca. 1470–90

About this artwork

Enjoying an intimate garden tête-à-tête, this well-dressed couple is wealthy enough to afford the leisure time to make beautiful music together. The walled garden enclave suggests that they have stolen away from a busy castle for a little privacy. The closed garden, or hortus conclusus, was often seen as an emblem of purity, especially in images of the Virgin Mary and infant Christ. Yet this woman’s studied attempt to avoid the man’s appraising glance suggests that they both have other things on their mind than playing instruments.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Monogrammist b. g.


The Music Making Couple


Germany (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Round engraving on ivory laid paper


Plate: H.: 8.9 cm (3 9/16 in.); Sheet: 9.5 × 9.2 cm (3 3/4 × 3 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Amanda S. Johnson and Marion J. Livingston Endowment

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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