Spanish Gothic painter active in Barcelona where he was for some years in charge of the workshop of Bernardo Martorell; born Valencia op. 1451-1458.
- Polyptych: Retablo de los Santos Cosme y Damián con la Virgen [Altarpiece of Saints Cosmas and Damian with the Virgin] (1453-1455), paint on panel, Miquel Nadal (15th century). Barcelona: Basilica del Santo Antonio de Padua. Ref. Gudiol (1986: 678); Ballester (1990: 172-173 & pl. 94); Rowland-Jones (1997b: 14); Wikimedia Commons (2011-col.) The panel centre-top depicts the Virgin and Child enthroned and surrounded by musical angels playing what look like SAT or SAA recorders, rebec, lute and harp. The panel immediately below depicts Cosmas and Damian, twin brothers, physicians and early Christian martyrs born in Cilicia, part of today’s Turkey. Each holds a jar of ointment. Surrounding panels and more below depict scenes from their lives.
Franz Johann Heinrich Nadorp
German romantic painter and sculptor who primarily lived and worked in Rome; best known for his portraits but also painted an altarpiece for his baptismal church of St Pancras; born Isselburg (1794), died Rome (1876).
- St Cecilia with Musical Angels, drawing on transparent paper, 12.6 × 8.9 cm, Franz Johann Heinrich Nadorp (1794-1876). Münster: Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte. Ref. Munich RIdM (2003: MÜlm – 74/6); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2003); Macmillan (2008-136). On a bench beneath the figures lie a lute, a violin and bow, and a tambourine (with two rows of jingle rings) beneath which is a recorder. The window/labium and double holes for the lowermost little finger are clear, but the recorder is largely hidden. There really isn’t sufficient detail to tell what might have been intended. One of a series of sketches containing musical instruments.
Antoine Le Nain
French painter of scenes from peasant life, portraits, miniatures and groups; born Laon (ca 1588), died Paris (1648); brother of Louis and Mathieu Le Nain. As the Le Nain brothers worked together, the attribution of their paintings is still problematic. They ran an important studio in Paris and enjoyed a great success as portrait and genres painters.
- Le Vieux Joueur de Flageolet / The Village Piper (1642), oil on copper, 21.3 × 29.2 cm, Antoine Le Nain (ca 1588-1648). Detroit: Institute of Arts, Inv. 30.280. Ref. Rosenberg (1993: cat. 12, pl. 7-col.); Bridgeman Art Library (2003: Image DTR114398); Website: Detroit Institute of Arts (2016 – col.) An old man seated plays a narrow, flared bell-recorder (all seven fingers down), whilst three boys, a girl and a maidservant listen. Probably refers to the same painting as below. Possibly one of a number of copies.
- Le vieillard complaisant / The Obliging Old Man, (1720–1732), engraving in black ink on laid paper, 23.8 × 30.8 cm), P. de Saint Maurice after Antoine Le Nain (ca 1588-1648). Detroit: Institute of Arts, Inv. 67.90. A fair copy in reverse of The Village Piper (above).
- Le Vieux Joueur de Flageolet, engraving after Antoine Le Nain (ca 1588-1648). Private Collection. Ref. Pottier (1992: 29, pl. 16; 1995: 128, pl 2 – b&w). An old man plays a small duct flute (probably a six-holed pipe).
- La Danse des Enfants, Antoine Le Nain (ca 1588-1648). Switzerland: Private Collection. Ref. Pottier (1992: 30, pl. 17); Rosenberg (1993: cat. 16, pl. 8-col.); Website: gallica (2012-b&w). A young boy standing plays a narrow, flared-bell recorder (seven fingers down), whilst a group of children dance watched over by a maidservant.
- La Danse des Enfants, engraving after Antoine Le Nain (ca 1588-1648). Location unknown. Ref. Website: gallica (2012-b&w). A young boy standing plays a narrow, flared-bell recorder (seven fingers down), whilst a group of children dance watched over by a maidservant.
- Peasant Children, oil on copper, 21.6 × 27.9 cm, Antoine Le Nain (ca 1588-1648). Glasgow: Burrell Collection, 35/578; Ref. Marks et al. (1983: 145, fig. 1-col.); Rosenberg (1993: cat. 18); Glasgow Museums: Postcard (2012 – col.) Shows six children, one with a duct flute (probably a six-holed pipe since the little finger of the player’s lower hand is held under the instrument). There is a copy of this painting in the Museum and Art Gallery, Berwick on Tweed (see below).
- Peasant Children, Antoine Le Nain (ca 1588-1648). Berwick-on-Tweed: Museum & Art Gallery. A copy of the above. Shows six children, one with a duct flute (probably a six-holed pipe since the little finger of the player’s lower hand is held under the instrument). There is another copy in the Burrell Collection, Glasgow (see above).
- Portraite dans un Intérieur (1647), oil on canvas, 28 × 38 cm, Antoine Le Nain (ca 1588-1648). Detail. Paris: Musée de Louvre, Inv. RF 519. Ref. Rosenberg (1993: cat. 20, pl. 9 – col.); Lallement & Devaux (1997: 198); Joconde Website. A boy, seated, plays a narrow, flared-bell recorder (seven fingers down) whilst his family listen, including two cats.
Louis Le Nain [sometimes called ‘Le Romain’]
French painter of scenes from peasant life whose large scale works in subdued colours convey a sense of identification with his subjects; born Laon (ca 1593), died Paris (1648); brother of Antoine and Mathieu Le Nain. As the Le Nain brothers worked together, the attribution of their paintings is still problematic. They ran an important studio in Paris and enjoyed a great success as portrait and genres painters.
- Landscape with Peasants at a Chapel, oil oncanvas, 55 × 41 cm, Louis Le Nain (?1598-1648). Hartford: Wadsworth Athenaeum. Ref. Rosenberg (1993: cat. 33, pl. 20-col.); Pottier (1995: 129, pl. 3-b&w); Recorder Magazine 20 (1): front cover-col. – detail; 36-b&w (2000). A young woman plays a slender, flared-bell recorder (seven fingers down); in front of her and to the sides sit her family, including a sleeping dog; behind lies a church, and beyond that a village.
- Landscape with Peasants (ca 1640), oil on canvas, 46.5 × 57.0 cm, Louis Le Nain (?1598-1648). Washington: National Gallery of Art, Samuel H. Kress Collection 1946.7.11. Ref. Pottier (1992: 26, pl. 13); Rosenberg (1993: cat. 34, pl. 21-col.) An old woman sits watching a youth, a boy and a girl strolling in front of her. The boy plays a narrow, flared-bell duct flute (probably a recorder). In the distance are open fields.
- La charrette [The Cart] or Le retour de fenaison [The Return of the Haymakers] (1641), canvas, 56 × 72 cm, Louis Le Nain (?1598-1648). Paris: Musée de Louvre, R.F. 258. Ref. Kitson (1966: 92, pl. 50-col.); Daudy (1967: 68, pl.); Gowing (1987: 384-col.); Pottier (1992: 32, pl. 19); Rosenberg (1993: cat. 35, pl. 22-col.); Wikipedia (2016-col.) A boy and three girls stand atop a hay-wagon, the boy playing a narrow, flared-bell recorder (seven fingers down). In front of the wagon a woman nurses a baby; behind are a seated swineherd, his pigs and two more girls in front of a tumbledown cottage.
- La halte du cavalier [The Resting Horseman] / Landscape with Figures (1640s), oil painting, 54.6 × 67.3 cm, Louis Le Nain (?1598-1648). London: Victoria & Albert Museum, CA1.17. Ref. Pottier (1992: 31, pl. 18); Rosenberg (1993: cat. 41, pl. 25-col.) A man sits to the right with his horse, a dog and some sheep. Opposite him stands a girl with a large copper bowl on her head. Between them stand two boys, one of whom plays a narrow, flared-bell duct flute (flageolet or recorder).
- Famille de paysans dans un intérieur [Peasant Family in an Interior] (ca 1642), oil on canvas, 113 × 159 cm, Louis (and/or Antoine) Le Nain (?1593-1648). Paris: Musée de Louvre, Inv. RF 2081. Ref. Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris 1989, IC-00-3799 & IC-00-5207/ Rosenberg (1993: cat. 46, pl. 30-col.); Lallement & Devaux (1997: 198); Joconde Website (1999). A woman holds a jug and a glass of wine. A young boy plays a very slender, flared-bell recorder to her leaning against a table around which a man and another woman sit. Three other children sit and stand in the background.
- Le vieux joueur de flageolet [Peasant Interior with an Old Flute Player] (ca 1642), 54.1 × 62.1 cm, Louis (or Antoine) Le Nain (?1593-1648). Fort Worth: Kimbell Art Museum, Inv. AP 1984.22. Ref. Rosenberg (1993: cat. 42, pl. 31-col.) An old, bearded man plays a narrow, flared-bell recorder (seven fingers down). In front of him and to the left sits an old woman, her cat and a small dog. Opposite her a young woman nurses a baby. The rest of the family look on. The scene is an idealized portrayal of peasant life. Wine in a crystal glass (hardly peasant fare) together with the bread placed on the white tablecloth, evidently alludes to the Eucharistic meal and Christian charity, exemplified by this idealised, humble household.
- Interieur Paysan au Vieux Joeur de Flageolet [Peasant Interior with an Old Flute Player (mid 17th century), oil on canvas, 61 × 75 cm, after Louis Le Nain (?1598-164). Lille: Musée des Beaux-Arts, Inv. P 411. Ref. Joconde Website (1999). Copy of an original preserved in a private collection (England). There is another version at Laon; and two more were sold in England in 1923 and 1924. Amongst his family, a peasant man plays a duct flute (flageolet or recorder), and there is a basket, plates, a fireplace, a dog and cat. Not seen.
- La visite à la grand-mère [A Visit to Grandmother] (ca 1644-48), oil on canvas, 58 × 73 cm, Louis Le Nain (?1598-1648). St Petersburg: Hermitage, Inv. # 1172. Ref. Rosenberg (1993: cat. 47 & 1172, pl. 35-col.), Eisler (1990: 407-col. & 408-409, detail – col.), USSR Old Master Paintings (1979: 105-b&w, 114-115). A grandmother sits surrounded by her grandchildren, and there is a very attentive dog. A boy plays a narrow, flared-bell recorder.
- Le Joueur de Flageolet or Le Bastion [Flageolet Player], oil on canvas, 50.0 × 55.2 cm, Louis Le Nain (?1598-1648) or Mathieu Le Nain (1607-1677). London: Victoria & Albert Museum, Inv. CAI.18. Ref. Pottier (1992: 27, pl. 14); Rosenberg (1993: cat. 67). In a landscape, three people before a lime-kiln: a old bearded man holding a jug of wine on the left, a young boy playing the flageolet in the centre and a woman with a spindle on the right, two children poke their heads over left top of the parapet while there is distant city in the left background. An old copy of the present composition was recorded in a private collection in Nice in 1971.
Mathieu Le Nain
French painter of scenes from peasant life and portraits with a Flemish flavour; he became an official painter to the city of Paris (1633) and was made a Chevalier; born Laon (1607), died Paris (1677); brother of Antoine and Louis Le Nain. As the Le Nain brothers worked together, the attribution of their paintings is still problematic. They ran an important studio in Paris and enjoyed a great success as portrait and genres painters.
- Le Concert, oil on canvas, 57.0 × 67.5 cm, Mathieu Le Nain (1607-1677). Laon: Musée d’Art et d’Archéologie, Inv. 991.1. Ref. Rosenberg (1993: pl. 67-col.) Identical to Three Musicians (sold Christie’s, 1990). A man plays a lute sitting opposite a woman playing a guitar. Between them, a young boy sings. Behind, an elderly bearded man plays a very slender pipe (possibly a duct flute).
- Three Musicians, oil on canvas, Mathieu Le Nain (1607-1677). Location unknown: Offered for sale by Christie’s, 15 June 1990 (sold). Ref. Gabrius Data Bank, OMP (2002 – col.) Identical to Le Concert, Laon: ? Musée d’Art et d’Archéologie. A man plays a lute sitting opposite a woman playing a guitar. Between them a young boy sings. Behind, an elderly bearded man plays a very slender pipe (possibly a duct flute)
- Intérieur d’Ecurie, ?Mathieu Le Nain (1607-1677). Laon: ? Musée d’Art et d’Archéologie. Ref. Rosenberg (1993: cat. 66, 66b). A copy of a lost original. A boy, seated, plays a recorder watched by his mother, a child and two girls.
- Musicians (1677), oil on canvas, 32.4 × 40.2 cm, attributed to Mathieu Le Nain (1607-1677). London: Dulwich Gallery, DPG 180. Ref. Rosenberg (1993: cat. 72). An elderly, bearded man plays a slender, flared-bell recorder accompanied by a younger man playing a guitar. Behind them stands a young woman.
- Three Men with a Guitarist and a Flageolet-player, Mathieu Le Nain (1607-1677). France: Private Collection. Ref. Rosenberg (1993: cat. 73). Identical to the above but without the young woman (or a ‘third ‘man’).
- Peasants in a Tavern (1640’s), oil on canvas , 78.0 × 94.5 cm, Mathieu Le Nain (1607-1677). St Petersburg: Hermitage, Inv. # 328. Ref. Eisler (1990: 404). A small boy in the background plays a pipe, probably a recorder judging by the thumb position.
Italian painter and draughtsman; his style of drawing was individual but reminiscent of his teacher, Jacopo Pontormo; his painting is characterised by expressive freedom and warm colouring; born Fiesole (ca 1537), died Florence (1591).
- Apollo and the Muses; Diana Surprised by Actaeon, oil on copper, 32 × 24 cm, Giovanbaattista Naldini (ca 1537-1591). Vercelli: Museo Francesco Borgogna, Inv. 1906. In the first panel Apollo strums his lyre sitting atop a rocky hillock with Pegasus behind him and surrounded by the Muses amongst whom Euterpe (Muse of music and lyric poetry) holds a slender, flared-bell pipe, possibly a recorder. One of the other Muses (possibly Terpischore, Muse of dance and song) plays a lira da braccio. A winged putto flies above bearing a banner with a strange device which reads “mentis apollineae vis has movet undique musas” (“the power of the spirit of Apollo moves the Muses everywhere”) taken from the late-classical poem Nomina Musarum. The work depicting Diana portrays a scene from the Metamorphoses of Ovid (III, vv. 138-252) in which Actaeon surprises Diana naked (standing to the left with the crescent moon in her head) while bathing with the Nymphs. The hunter is transformed into a deer by the goddess and appears at the bottom at the top-right, about to be eaten by his own dogs. The two compositions share common moral intentions, recalling principles of virtue to be pursued through the exercise of the arts and culture.
Célestin Nanteuil (lithographer) – see Titian (1474/1482-1576)
Contemporary Japanese artist who has studied in Italy. He lives in Okinawa.
- Il flauto dolce, Taiichi Nakazato. A stylised recorder player against a green background.
Mariotto di Nardo
Italian artist active in Florence and central Italy who painted in the rediscovered tradition of Giotto; his interest in sculpture and his almost obsessive rendering of plastic form in painting make his style easily identifiable and markedly different from that of his contemporaries; born 1394, died 1424/31; son of the sculptor Nardo di Cione ( fl. ca 1480, namesake of the painter).
- Coronation of the Virgin (1408), tempera on panel, 135 × 70 cm, Mariotto di Nardo (1394-1424/31). Minneapolis: Institute of Arts, Acc. # 65.37. Ref. Brown (1985: #286-b&w); Thomson & Rowland-Jones (1995: 6, pl. 3); Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2003); Wikimedia Commons (2015-col.) Angels play fiddles and an ambiguous pipe which could just as well be a shawm, though these are rare in soft music ensembles. Brown’s (1995: 6) argument that this is a recorder of the Dordrecht kind is seriously misplaced as the instrument depicted here lacks any hint of either the beak or window characteristic of duct flutes (flageolet or recorder), and its foot is hidden by a fiddle-playing angel on the recorder player’s left.
- Adoration of the Shepherds, ?tempera on wood, Mariotto di Nardo (1394-1424/31). Rome: Pinacoteca Vaticana, 1385 r. Ref. Website: Milosierzia Bialstocki Biuletyn Koscielny 12/164, December (2015). Mary, Joseph and two shepherds pray beside Jesus’ crib. Above hover musical angels of whom five play shawms (with flared bells) and a sixth plays a slender cylindrical pipe which may represent a duct flute, possibly a recorder.
Francesco Nasocchi (c.1478–c.1550) & Bartolomeo Nasocchi (op.1508–1541)
Italian painters of religious subjects, variously active Bassano del Grappa, Bassano, Gallio and Primolano.
- Virgin and Child with Saints (ca 1530), Francesco Nasocchi (c.1478–c.1550) & Bartolomeo Nasocchi (op.1508–1541). Cismon del Grappa: Chiesa di Primolano. Ref. Gerola (1910: 61); Rasmussen (1999, Lute); Online catalogue: University of Bologna, Fondazione Federico Zeri, entry 25604 (2013-b&w). The Virgin and Child enthroned between two saints are entertained by three winged putti singing and playing lute and a slender cylindrical recorder with a slightly flared bell, the window/labium clearly visible.
Charles Joseph Natoire
French artist and Director of the French Academy in Rome; known for his elegant mythological and historical paintings and portraits; considered a rival of Boucher; born Nîmes (1700), died Castel Gandolfo (1777).
- The Triumph of Bacchus (mid-18th century), oil on canvas, 199 × 225 cm, Charles Joseph Natoire (1700-1777). Paris: Musée de Louvre, Inv. 6854. Ref. Lallement & Devaux (1997: 201-202); Joconde Website (1999); Website: gallica (2012-b&w). Bacchus is drawn in a chariot pulled by three ?tigresses, accompanied by a throng of nymphs and satyrs. Lying in the foreground, a semi-clad women is served grapes which she holds aloft, squeezing them to allow the juice to trickle into her mouth. Cherubs doze or clamour for attention. To the side, a young woman is encouraged by a man as she plays a slender pipe, probably a duct flute (possibly a recorder).
Little-known Dutch artist whose small oeuvre includes landscape and genre paintings with characteristic light and colour effects; active in Middelburg (1658-1662), but possibly originally from Rotterdam.
- Interior, oil on canvas, 37.2 × 28 cm, Johannes Natus (op. 1658-1662). Location unknown: auctioned Sotheby’s (London), 12 December 2002, Lot 150 (sold). Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistoriche Documentatie 115452 (2010 – col.) Three men sit at a table in a tavern; two are drinking; the third leans against the wall playing a duct flute (possibly a recorder) the window/labium of which is visible, but no other details. The sleeping dog on the floor in front of the three companions recurs in several of the artist’s works.
Belgian naturalist painter of portraits, rural scenes, religious and mythological subjects; born Charleroi (1787), died Brussels (1869).
- The Flute Player, oil on panel, François-Joseph Navez (1787-1869). Ref. Gabrius Data Bank, OMP (2002 – col.) A rural scene in which country folk (two women, a boy and a girl) gaze in rapt attention at a man in scarecrow’s hat who is about to play a small flared-bell duct flute, the beak of which is just visible. All the fingers of the player’s lowermost (left) hand seem to be covering their holes, so this is quite possibly meant to be a recorder.
Tatyana Grigorievna Nazarenko
Russian artist who was accepted into Russia’s official arts organization, the Moscow Union of Artists, in 1969, and remained an important figure in Russian art and intellectual circles; her work extends the boundaries of contemporary Socialist Realism to include social critique; born Moscow (1944).
- Moscow Evening (1978), oil on canvas, 160 × 180 cm, Tatyana Grigorievna Nazarenko (1944-). Moscow: Tretyakov Gallery. Ref. Bridgeman Art Library (2010: Image BAL56604 – col.) In the foreground, seated around a table covered in books and music, a man plays a pipe (possibly a recorder), two men strum guitars and a second woman listens. In the background, Catherine the Great appears as a ghostly apparition against the skyline of Moscow. The recorder is slightly flared with a peculiarly bulbous beak.
- Evening in the Moscow Studio (1989), oil on canvas, 120 × 160 cm, Tatyana Grigorievna Nazarenko (1944-). Location unknown. Ref. Website: International Foundation of Russian and Easern European Art (2016-col.) A compressed version of the above. In the foreground, seated around a table covered in books and music, a man plays a recorder, another strums a guitar. Between them, Catherine the Great appears as a ghostly apparition against the skyline of Moscow. The recorder is slender with a peculiarly bulbous beak.
Italian baroque painter of the tenebrist school; born ?Venice (1628), died Venice (1679).
- Mercury and Argus, oil on canvas, 114.3 × 174.4 cm, Pietro Negri (1628-1679). Caen: Musée des Beaux-Arts, No. 37. Ref. Catalogue (1928: 37); Rowland-Jones (1998c: 16; 1999); Wikimedia Commons (2012-col.) Mercury lulls Argus to sleep by playing on a renaissance-style flared-bell recorder, his dagger nearby. His recorder is away from his lips, but still held with his fingers slightly away from the holes. The window/labium is very clear and seven slightly rectangular finger holes are in line. The instrument is cylindrical up to the bell, with only a slight flare at the very end (no decoration). There is very little beak. This is identical to a painting of the same subject by Negri recently offered for sale (see below).
- Mercury and Argus, oil on canvas, 132 × 168 cm, Pietro Negri (1628-1679). Location unknown: Sotheby’s (London), Old Master Paintings, 18 October 1995, Lot 69 (sold). Ref. Sale Catalogue, Sotheby’s (London), Old Master Paintings, 18 October 1995; Website: Artnet (2009 – col.) Watched by Io (as a heifer), Mercury lulls Argus to sleep by playing on a renaissance-style flared-bell recorder, his dagger nearby. His recorder is away from his lips, but still held with his fingers slightly away from the holes. The window/labium is very clear and seven slightly rectangular finger holes are in line. The instrument is cylindrical up to the bell, with only a slight flare at the very end (no decoration). There is very little beak. This is identical to a painting of the same subject by Negri in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Caen (see above).
German expressionist painter, printmaker, draughtsman – and recorder-player, it seems; his work includes still-lifes, portraits, landscapes, religious subjects, in oil on canvas and wood, watercolor, pen and pencil have survived as well as woodcuts; he also worked as glass painter, sculptor and artisan; born Bobersberg bei Crossen (1912), died Dresden (1983).
- Self-portrait (1938), oil on wood, 89.9 × 85.0 cm, Rudolf Nehmer (1912-1983). Location unknown; auctioned Villa Grisebach Auktionen, Berlin, 30 November 2002, Lot 291; Artnet (2007 – col.); CD Cover: Hans-Joachim Fuss, Flötensolowerke (2004 – col.) The artist stands before a small table turning a page of music on a desk music-stand with hand and holding a stoutly made basset recorder of renaissance design in the other. Also on the ledge are a vase of flowers and three musical scores. The depiction of a renaissance-style recorder at this date is striking. It resembles very closely instruments made by Martin Kehr of Zwota around 1930 depicted by Thalheimer (2010: 17) which were marketed by Peter Harlan.
- Musical Instruments (1957), Rudolf Nehmer (1912-1983). Location unknown. Ref. Website: klassiskitar.net (2007 – b&w.) A modern-day still-life. On a ledge in front of a window lie a lute and a neo-baroque alto recorder lie on a shelf with a vase with a single Dahlia and a notebook.
Berner Nelkenmeister — see Master of the Carnation
Ottaviano (di Martino) Nelli [di Nello]
Italian (Eugubinian) painter who worked in Gubbio, Perugia, Urbino, Assisi, and Foligno before returning to Gubbio where he opened an art school; born Gubbio (1357); died after 1440; son of Martino di Nello, also a painter.
- Last Judgement, brush drawing in brown and white on greenish-blue paper, 28.2 × 18.8 cm, Ottaviano Nelli (1370/5 – p.1440). New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Inv. 1975.1.562 Ref. Constance Old (ex Amanda Pond, pers. comm., 2002-b&w). To the trumpeting of angels and the approval of the Saints, God passes judgement on the wretched sinners below amongst whom an Avenging Angel in armour raises his weapon. Between his wings projects what has been taken to be the head of a duct flute, but is in fact the hilt of his sword.
Neri di Bicci
Italian painter and a sought-after teacher; born Florence (1418), died Florence (1492); son of Bicci di Lorenzo (1373-1452), also a painter.
- Coronation of the Virgin (1463), oil on panel, 158 × 169 cm, Neri di Bicci (1418-1492). Avignon: Musée du Petit Palais, Inv. 20252. Ref. Ladotte & Mognetti (1977: pl. 178); Amanda Spooner (pers. comm., 2002); Website: Lute Iconography, Image 3064 (2023, col.) Christ crowns Mary watched by the angel Raphael, with St Augustin and St Antoine on either side and surrounded by angel musicians playing organetto, harp, psaltery, shawms, folded trumpets, lute, and a small cylindrical duct flute (centre bottom). The latter instrument is slightly conical; the window/labium is partly visible; the beak is striated and apparently of a different material to the body; the fingers are somewhat haphazard, but the little finger of lowermost (left) hand seems to be covering its hole. Thus this is likely to represent a recorder rather than a flageolet.
- Coronation of the Virgin, Neri di Bicci (1418-1492). Paris: Musée Jacquemart-André. Ref. Website: Wikipedia (2014-col.) Christ crowns Mary watched by saints on either side and surrounded by angel musicians playing lute, organetto, folded trumpet, shawms, tambourine (with jingle rings), psaltery and a small cylindrical duct flute (top right). The latter could easily represent a recorder as the little finger of the lowermost (right) hand is clearly covering its hole.
- Coronation of the Virgin (1473/5), Neri di Bicci (1418-1492). Florence: Cenacolo di Sant’Apollonia Museum. Ref. Website: Wikimedia Commons (2016, col.); Website: Lute Iconography, Image LI-2094 (2023, col.) Christ crowns Mary surrounded by angels and watched by saints on either side. Three angels at the foot of the painting play organetto, lute and a slender, narrowly flared duct flute, almost certainly a recorder, the window/labium clearly depicted. There are other versions of this composition in Paris and Avignon.
German painter of landscapes and cityscapes; active in Munich (early 20th century). See Neresheimer Family Homepage.
- Young Boy Playing a Recorder, oil on canvas, 90.3 × 64.7 cm, Paul Neresheimer (early 20th century). London: Bonhams, Modern & Contemporary British & Continental Pictures, 29 March 1995, Lot 392. Ref. WebsArtfact (2003). Not seen.
Johann David Nessenthaler
German engraver; born Augsburg (1717), died Augsburg (1766).
- Design for title page: Adelichen Exercitien (1754), ink & watercolour on paper, 16.5 × 19.9 cm, Johann David Nessenthaler (1717-1766). Munich: Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Inv. 19573. Ref. Munich RIdIM (2009, Mgs – 438). On the left of an arch with pillars are trophies of militaria – lances, flags, boots, parts of body armour; on the right are trophies of musical instruments – two recorders, two violins or viols, two trumpets, a horn, and two drums with a curtain. Above the capitals are two urns. The arch is decorated in Rococo style with a bust of a young nobleman. Not seen.
Caspar [Gaspar] Netscher
German painter of the Baroque era who established a fashionable practice as painter of portraits and allegorical scenes in French style; active in Bordeaux and the Hague; born Heidelberg (ca 1635), died the Hague (1684); father of Constantin Netscher.
- Schäfer und Schäferin [Shepherd and Shepherdess] (1681), oil on canvas, 53.5 × 44.0 cm, Caspar Netscher (ca 1635-1684). Munich: Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Inv. 110. Ref. Plietzsch (1972); RIdM Munich (2013, Mstag-470-b&w)). A shepherd holding a soprano flared-bell recorder (with paired finger holes for the lowermost finger) gazes into the eyes of a shepherdess as they sit at the foot of a statue beside a stream. There are other versions of this in the Anton-Ulrich Museum, Brunswick, and the National Museum, Stockholm, the latter attributed to Adriaen van der Werff. In all versions the models appear to be identical to those used in Werff’s Pastoral Lovers.
- Schäfer und Schäferin [Shepherd and Shepherdess] (1683), oil on canvas, 53.5 × 44.0 cm, Caspar Netscher (ca 1635-1684). Brunswick: Anton-Ulrich Museum, Inv. 318. Ref. Plietzsch (1972: pl. 96); Archiv Moeck; RIdM Munich (2009, BSm 53). A shepherd holding a soprano flared-bell recorder (with paired finger holes for the lowermost finger) gazes into the eyes of a shepherdess as they sit at the foot of a statue beside a stream. There are other versions of this in the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich, and the National Museum, Stockholm, the latter attributed to Adriaen van der Werff. In all versions the models appear to be identical to those used in Werff’s Pastoral Lovers.
- Schäfer und Schäferin [Shepherd and Shepherdess], oil on canvas, 48.5 × 35.0 cm, attributed to Caspar Netscher (ca 1635-1684). Vienna: Dorotheum, Old Master Paintings, 24 June 2014, Lot 212 (as Serenade in a Park). A shepherd holding a soprano flared-bell recorder (with paired finger holes for the lowermost finger) gazes into the eyes of a shepherdess as they sit at the foot of a statue beside a stream. There are other versions of this in the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich, Brunswick: Anton-Ulrich Museum, and the National Museum, Stockholm, the latter attributed to Adriaen van der Werff. In all versions the models appear to be identical to those used in Werff’s Pastoral Lovers.
- Boy Playing a Recorder by Lamplight, oil on copper, 15.8 × 13.2 cm, Caspar Netscher (ca 1635-1684). Munich: Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, 297 (3200). Ref. Munich RIdIM (1999: Mstag 468, b&w); Website: Wikimdedia Commons (2018, col.) A boy sits playing a recorder by the light of an oil-lamp, right hand uppermost. There is a copy in Geneva (see below).
- Boy playing a Flute, oil on canvas, 15.7 × 19.6 cm, after Caspar Netscher (ca 1635-1684). Geneva: Musėe d’Art et d’Histoire Genève, Inv. 109. A boy sits playing a recorder by the light of an oil-lamp, right hand uppermost. A copy of the original in Munich (see above).
- Schäferstunde [The Shepherd’s Hour], oil on panel, 53.4 × 44.8 cm, Caspar Netscher (ca 1635-1684). Munich: Alte Pinakothek, Inv. Inv.-Nr. 110. Ref. Kettering (1983: fig. 123); Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie (2001); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2001); Munich RIdIM, Mstag – 470 (2013-b&w). A naked shepherd embraces a lightly clad shepherdess. By his foot can be seen the lower end of a recorder with a slight bell flare, paired little finger holes and four other finger holes visible. There is an identical painting in the Kurpfälzisches Museum, Heidelberg (see below).
- Schäferszene am Bunnen [Shepherd Scene at Bunnen], oil on canvas, 55.5 × 45.5 cm, Caspar Netscher (ca 1635-1684). Heidelberg: Kurpfälzisches Museum, L 40. Ref. Munich RIdIM (2002: HDkm – 25); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2002). Surrounded by their animals in a garden with a fountain and statues, a shepherd embraces a shepherdess. At his feet, its head covered by her legs, lies a flared-bell recorder, the lowermost finger hole of which is offset to the right. There is an identical painting in the Neue Pinakothek, Munich (see above).
Dutch portraitist; born 1668, died 1723; son of the artist Caspar Netscher.
- Child Playing a Recorder (ca 1820), oil on copper, 15 × 13 cm, Constantin Netscher (1668-1723). Munich: Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Inv. 297. Ref. RIdIM Deutschland, Mstag – 468. Sitting at a table on which stands an oil lamp, a young man plays a flared-bell, one-piece soprano recorder.
Swiss portrait painter; born Mainz (1756), died Basel (1834).
- The Hoffmann Children, oil on canvas, 16.0 × 34.6 cm, Maximilian Neustück (1756-1834). Basel: Historisches Museum, Inv. 2005.178. Ref. Archiv Moeck. In a bare room, the four children of the merchant Theodore Hoffman sit around a table. Georg Rudolf writes; Theodore plays a small duct flute, almost certainly a French flageolet rather than a recorder; Mary Salome and Anna Catharina look on.
Contemporary American draughtswoman, painter, muralist, stained glass maker, sculptor, teacher who lives andworks in Milton, MA. Website.
- Bob Neville Playing the Recorder in his Study, West Haven, CT, oil on masonite, Beth Neville (contemporary). Ref. Neville Art Enterprises (2005 – col.) Bob [Prof. Robert Cummings Neville, philosopher and theologian] stands at his desk playing a flared-bell tenor-sized recorder with a bulbous beak.
British psychiatrist, amateur basset recorder player, and ceramicist; born 1925.
- Rejoice in the Lord alway (2000), glazed clay figurine, ca 16 cm high, base ca 15 cm in diameter, Joseph Neville (1925-). Norwich: Ron Skins. Ref. Joseph Neville to Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2003). Made as a gift for Ron Skins who had conducted the recorder group in Norwich in which the artist participates. Surrounded by ducks, a man with bulging eyes wearing a cowl plays a basset recorder with bocal. On the bass are the words “Rejoice in the Lord alway and again I say rejoice”.
- Thou hast thy Music (2001), glazed clay figurine, ca 16 cm high, base ca 15 cm in diameter, Joseph Neville (1925-). Norwich: Ron Skins. Ref. Joseph Neville to Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2003). Made as a gift for Ron Skins who had conducted the recorder group in Norwich in which the artist participates. Surrounded by ducks, a dragon sits playing a basset recorder with a bocal and fontanelle.
R.A. Nicholson has been working as a self-taught artist for the past 40 years. Initially working with house paints and scraps of cardboard, Nicholson eventually moved on to bigger and better art supplies. While many of Nicholson’s newer works do not quite fit into the “Thrift Store Art” aesthetic, his early ’70’s output perfectly captures the spirit of the genre. Whether referencing the ubiquitous 1960’s “big-eye” portraits of Keane, pushing the boundaries of abstract surrealism, or experimenting with new styles and techniques, Nicholson is a unique and talented artist. From Gallery of Thrift Store Art (2002, see below).
- Flute (1973), 30.0 × 35 cm, R.A. Nicholson. Thrift Store Art: Gallery VIII. Ref. Website: Flautotraverso (2002 – col.); Website: Gallery of Thrift Store Art (2014 – col.) A psychedelic man with a moustache and beard plays a conical pipe which, to judge by the title, must be a duct flute, though no details are visible.
C. Nickel (17th century), Dutch
- Vanitas (1664), oil on canvas, 77 × 96 cm, C. Nickel (17th century). Location unknown: Sotheby’s, London, 10 July 2008, Lot 162. Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie 116868 (2010-col.) On a draped table are globe, a highly decorated chalice, an hourglass, a watch, books, papers, a skull, a lute, a violin, and a hand-fluyt, only the body and foot of which are visible.
Spanish artist, one of the earliest exponents of the international gothic style in Catalonia; painter of religious subjects, including altarpieces; active 1390-1408.
- Annunciation to the Shepherds, Pere Nicolau (op. 1390-1408). El Burgo de Osma: Catedral. Ref. Ballester (2000: 12, fig. 3-b&w). Two shepherds gaze up in wonder at the angel who signals his announcement to them on a lettered scroll. A third shepherd seated on a hill plays a duct flute, the window/labium clearly depicted.
Hendrik Christiaan Niemann
Contemporary South African artist; born 1941.
- Boy Playing the Flute oil on board, 50 × 40 cm, Hendrik Christiaan Niemann (1941-). London: Bonhams (New Bond Street), Sale 15681 – The South African Sale, 30 January 2008, Lot 295. A boy sits in a field of poppies playing a narrowly conical pipe. The window/labium is vaguely indicated, and there seem to be plenty of finger holes.
- Harlequin with a Recorder (1987), oil on board, 79.5 × 54.0 cm, Hendrik Christiaan Niemann (1941-). Location unknown. A harlequin plays a narrowly conical pipe with seven finger holes. Although no window/labium is depicted this is probably intended as a recorder, given the title.
Elias van Nijmegen
The first member of a dynasty of decorative painters; born Nijmegen (1667), died Rotterdam (1755); father of decorative painter and portraitist Dionys van Nijmegen (1705-1798).
- Portrait of a Woman with Musical Instruments (1725), oil on linen, 133.9 × 102.8 cm, Elias van Nijmegen (1667-1755). Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistoriche Documentatie, Image 0000098248 (2010-col.) Rotterdam: Historich Museum, Inv. 11046. A monochrome relief bust of a woman is surrounded by flowers. A putto leans over it playing a flute. Beneath are a viol, a lyre and a slender recorder and sheet of music and an open music book. A blue parrot surveys the scene. Although the recorder is in three-piece baroque style it appears to lack a flared foot, reminiscent of instruments by Stanesby Jr. A companion-piece depicts a Portrait of a Man with Nautical Instruments.
- Trophy with Musical Instruments and a Globe (1720-1755), oil on linen, 124 × 173 cm, Elias van Nijmegen (1667-1755). Rotterdam: Historisch Museum, reserve collection, Inv. 107282. Ref. Jan Bouterse (pers. comm., 2009); Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistoriche Documentatie, Image 0000097345 (2014-col.) A still-life of some 20 musical instruments, including organ, harp, bassoon, bagpipe, hurdy-gurdy, clarinet, syrinx, bells, violin, horn, two oboes, flute, lute, viol, trumpet, triangle, cornetto, tambourine (with jingle rings and pellet bells) and a recorder. Only the foot of the latter is visible. There is also a terrestrial globe. A companion-piece depicts a Trophy with Weapons.
Contemporary Polish artist now living in the USA; specialises in illustration for book covers, magazine covers and trade publications; painter of “existential cartoons”, sleek often black and white paintings which present emphatic, graphic images of the human figure that have assumed a kind of mechanical condition. Not the sculptor of the same name, it seems (see below).
- Untitled (1999), Adam Niklewicz (contemporary). Ref. American Recorder 40 (4): cover-col. (1999). Stylized recorders depicted as trees are planted upside down, their feet turning into branches. In the background the silhouette of a man is glimpsed through a window playing a recorder.
- Recorder Player in a Hammock, Adam Niklewicz (contemporary). Ref. American Recorder 41, September: cover-col. (2000). A man lies playing his recorder in a hammock made of a musical stave. A dragonfly flits above him.
Contemporary Polish artist now living in the USA. Apparently a different person to the illustrator of the same name (see above). Artist’s web-site.
- Romantycznosc (2002), dry sausage, 30.5 × 3.8 × 3.8 cm, Adam Niklewicz (contemporary). Ref. Described by the artist as a fully functional recorder made entirely from a sausage, but actually appears to be a six-holed pipe. Accompanied by a recording in which ” … a musician, commissioned by the artist, plays a polonaise, bringing together two emblems of Polish culture, one culinary, the other musical, in an absurd collision where nostalgia, self-awareness, and the Romantic are all equal casualties” (Steven Holmes, Curator, The Cartin Collection). Perhaps the music played on this instrument might be better described as a ‘polonyaise’.
Johann Esias [Esaias] Nilson
German painter of miniatures, draughtsman and designer of rococo ornament including also etched prints to be hand-coloured, cut out and pasted on furniture; born Böteborg (1721), died Augsburg (1788); son of Swedish painter Andreas Nilson and miniaturist Rosina Barbara Nilson.
- La Musique Pastorale (ca 1765), engraving, Johann Esias Nilson (1721-1788). Paris: Collection Prouté. Ref. Paris RIdIM (1999); Munich RIdIM (2009, Hmkg – 295). A woman in a floral hat sits beneath a tree playing a xylophone to accompany a young man in a laced jacket and ribboned bonnet playing a cylindrical recorder.
- [Title unknown], engraving, Johann Esias Nilson (1721-1788). Lübeck: Museen für Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte, AB 230A. Ref. Munich RIdIM (1999: LÜmk 8). In a park, a woman dances to the music of a man playing a tenor-sized flared-bell duct flute (probably a recorder) seated beneath a tree. The window/labium and beak of the instrument are clearly depicted, and all four fingers of the lowermost (left) hand appear to be in use.
- The Contented Musicians, engraving, 24.8 × 16.5 cm, Johann Esias Nilson (1721-1788). Peterborough, USA: New England Art Exchange (2014). Beneath a tree, a young woman with her back to us plays a slender cylindrical pipe (no details visible. It could be a recorder. A young man lies at her feet with what might be a similar instrument in his hand. There is a basket of flowers immediately behind the musician. Currently for sale (2019).
Josef [Joseph] Frans [Francis] Nollekens
Flemish painter baptised as Corneille François Nollekens and often called “Old Nollekens” in English.; he is thought to have studied under Watteau; he painted decorative works, conversation pieces, fêtes champêtres, and similar works; born Antwerp (1702), died London (1748); son of Jan Baptiste Nollekens (1665-1720), a painter who practiced for a time in England, but eventually settled in France; one of J.F. Nollekens’ sons, Joseph Nollekens (1737-1823), remained in England becoming one of the nation’s most famous sculptors.
- Children’s Concert / Conversation Piece / Three Children making Music, Josef Frans Nollekens (1702-1748). Private Collection. Ref. Archiv Moeck; Antwerp KMSK Jaarboek (1967: 270); Apollo (1972, 95: 40 – b&w); Rasmussen (2002, Keyboard); Website: gallica (2012-b&w). A young girl (ca 15 years old) plays a keyboard instrument (probably a harpsichord); a young man behind her plays the organ, with one hand and beats time with the other; a young boy (ca 8-10 years old) plays a soprano recorder with the bell-shaped foot characteristic of the baroque instrument.
- Family Concert, oil on canvas, 41 × 63 cm, Josef Frans Nollekens (1702-1748). Location unknown. Ref. Website: artnet Auctions (accessed 2014 – col.) In an elegant room members of a family make music: a man sits at a harpsichord as he conducts, another holds a sheet of music for a young woman cellist, and a man plays a clearly depicted alto baroque recorder. A woman holding a ? fan in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, looks towards us. A man sits in the background, centre. A brightly dressed boy prances towards his sister who points to the musicians. A negro boy in the background, right, serves more drinks.
Cornelis van Noorde (1731-1795), Dutch – see Rembrandt van Rijn
Jan van Noordt
Dutch Golden Age artist whose paintings included genre scenes, and portraits as well as biblical themes; born Schagen (c.1623/4), died Amsterdam (p.1676); his father was a carillonneur and his two brothers were prominent organists.
- Shepherd with a Flute (c.1670), oil on canvas, 67 x 49 cm, Jan van Noordt (c. 1623–c. 1676). Uppsala: Auktions Cammare, Internationell Kvalitetsauktion, 16-18 June 2020, Lot 24. Ref. artnet.com (2020, col.) Formerly in the collection of Count Gustaf Adolf Sparre at Kulla-Gunnarstorp manor in Skåne in south of Sweden. A curly-haired shepherd wearing a leafy wreath holds a perfectly depicted soprano handfluyt with doubled holes for the little finger of the lowermost (left) hand. The foot is decorated with raised beads.
Siard Nosecký [Franz Siard von Nossek]
Czech painter and member of the Premonstratensian Order who decorated the summer refectory of Strahov Monastery, unique for the 300 figures represented in a relatively small area; born Prague (1693), died 1753.
- The Heavenly Feast of the Just (1749), ceiling fresco, Siard Nosecký (1693-1753). Detail 1. Detail 2. Prague: Královská kanonie premonstrátu, Summer Refectory. Ref. Thomson & Rowland-Jones (1995: 201, pl. 40-b&w). A host of people from all walks of life surround a multi-storied edifice rising to the heavens. At one end, a man with a score and a rolled up paper conducts a group of musicians playing harp, cello, tambourine, flute, trumpet, cello and what looks like a bass recorder (though possibly a sordun) perched dangerously on top of a capital. On the level above, a group of three musicians play ?shawms and kettle-drums. At the other end, musicians play horns, rear-facing trombones, trumpets, and a bowed-string instrument (only the bow is visible).
Pietro Giovanni Novelli [Il Monrealese]
Italian artist; born Monreale (1603), died Palermo (1647).
- The Musical Duel of Apollo and Marsyas (1631/1932), oil on canvas, 154 × 198 cm, Pietro Giovanni Novelli (1603-1647). Caen: Musée des Tapisseries, Inv. 10. Ref. Website: Joconde; Darmstädter & Brown (2006: 29, pl. 2 – col.); Ausoni (2009: 75-col.); Website: gallica (2012-b&w) Inspired by a depiction of the same subject by van Dyck. Painted for a Jesuit monastery, because of its religious symbolism. Apollo, seated on a rock or stump plays a violin. Marsyas, seated rather clumsily on the ground below, holds away from his mouth, a tenor/alto size recorder in an almost vertical position. His fingers are slightly drawn back from the uplifted instrument, not quite covering all the holes (left hand lower). In this position the windway can be seen – and it is curved, with the block very slightly obtruding. It is also surprisingly long – the window/labium is very clearly shown in this rather low position. Other than those covered by the outstretched fingers, one upper and three lower finger holes are visible, in line, plus an offset finger hole for the right-hand little finger (presumably blocked), and possibly just visible, the edge of its corresponding pair. The recorder is cylindrical nearly up to the bell end where there is some flare with two incised decorative rings. Notes by Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000).
- The Little Flute Player, pen and brown ink, brown and grey wash, watermark device, 26.0 × 19 cm, Pietro Giovanni Novelli (1603-1647). New York: Christies, Old Masters. Ref. Website: Artsy (2023). A young boy plays a flared bell pipe. A hole for the lowermost little finger of his lowermost (left) hand is visible, but no details of the window or beak. A caption below reads
Osmino all’ombra delle verdi fronde
Passa co Flauti l’ore sue gioconde.
[Under the shade of green leaves,
Osimo passes merry hours with his flute.]
If, as the title and verse suggest, this is a flute then a recorder is a possbility.
Sebastiano Novelli (fl. 1540), Italian
- Assumption with Saints Michel and Lorenzo, painting on canvas, 167 × 130 cm, Sebastinao Novelli (fl. 1540). Vercelli: San Lorenzo, Trino Vercellese. Ref. Mazzini & Romano (1976: 24-25, 78 0 b&w); Villa I Tatti 6919V45063; Paolo Biordi (pers. comm., 2000). Above the Saints the Virgin ascends into heaven surrounded by winged putti singing and playing trumpets, and one in the top right hand corner who plays a slender cylindrical pipe, possibly a recorder.
J. Nutter (op. 1864), English
- The Whistle, oil on canvas, J. Nutter (op. 1864). London: Chenil Galleries. Ref. Bridgeman Art Library (2003: Image CG19083); Website: Wikigallery.org (2013-col.) Four children who have been gathering bracken on the surrounding moors listen to a lad sitting on a rock playing a duct flute, probably a penny whistle, as the title suggests.
Cite this article as: Nicholas S. Lander. 1996–2023. Recorder Home Page: Artists–N: Overview. Last accessed 28 November 2023. https://www.recorderhomepage.net/recorder-iconography/artists-n/