Angels with Musical Instruments at Mirna na Dolenjskem


  • Primož Kuret



Recently frescoes from the late fifteenth century have been discovered at Mirna in Dolenjska. The ceiling is decorated in the manner of the »Carniolan choir«, that is, around the dominant figure of Christ, with the tetramorph, the church fathers, Mary with child, the saints, are angels painted on the rib vaulting of the three-sectional presbytery. Some of the angels are praying, some singing and some playing musical instruments. Of especial interest are those angels playing musical instruments. The Mirna painter depicted the following instruments: a knight's trumpet and two other trumpets, bagpipes, horn, tromba marina, kettle-drums, rebec, portativ, dulcimer, bells, clavichord, harp, double flute, jingle bells and lute. One particularly interesting angel among those without instruments is holding music and pointing to it with a little stick. The angels symbolize the praise of the heavens, a motif which was known to medieval West-European painting, especially in the 15th century and which is to be found in many examples of medieval painting in Slovenia. The Mirna orchestra of angels is interesting above all from the number of musical instruments depicted and for the clarity and precision with which the as yet anonymous painter depicted them. Apart from this, it is the first time that instruments, tromba marina and double flute, have appeared on frescoes within the Slovene ethnic territory.


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1. 12. 1969




How to Cite

Kuret, P. (1969). Angels with Musical Instruments at Mirna na Dolenjskem. Musicological Annual, 5(1), 10-18.