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Together with the lute, the viola da gamba was probably the most frequently represented instrument throughout the centuries, whether in painting, sculpture or miniature.

By the 13th century, merchant travelers like Marco Polo had remarked on the beauty of the Oriental carpets they encountered on their journeys.The 1636 Ruckers harpsichord from Cobbe Collection, Hatchlands, Great Britain (see image left), is one of the finest surviving playable instruments from the greatest harpsichord makers of all time.It is richly decorated with flowers on the soundboard."During Vermeer's time, composers frequently opposed somber landscapes to the gentle beauty of their ladies.The lady may be related to the landscape in sympathy with the international convention which the woman is the epitome of nature, metaphorized as the Tree of Life.It is known that some painters supplied the carpets themselves and a single carpet might be used for generations of artists.

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