Franchino Gaffurio (also Gafori, 1451 - 1522)
- connected Muses with the Spheres of Planets as Lazzarelli
|Franchino Gaffori, born at Lodi at January 14th, 1451, in a noble family, he studied Latin literature and music at
the Monastero Benedettino di S. Pietro, then Cantore at Duomo in Lodi. He became priest in 1473 and got some musical instruction of the
Dutch monk J. Godenach (also called Godendach). From 1474 - 1478 at the court in Mantua, after that a short time in Verona and then 2 years
in Naples, where he did meet J. Tinctoris and developed new ideas to harmony. In 1480 (Naples) he published "Theoricum opus musicae disciplina".
3 years teaching activities in Montecelli d'Ongina followed by a short role as chapel master in Bergamo. Since 1484 chapel master of the Duomo of
Milano, where he stayed 38 years till his death with close relations to court of the Sforzas and with personal contacts to Johannes Martini and
Leonardo da Vinci, in the 90ies of 15th century also active in Pavia He left lots of music theoritical tractats, and he's said to have been
influenced by Netherlandish music, perhaps according his early, but short instructions of Godendach.
The famous painting at the side is said to present Franchino Gaffurio and is ascribed to Leonardo da Vinci.
- Musicae utriusque cantus practicae ,
- Theorica musicae (1492, reedited from 1480),
- Practica musicae (1496),
- De harmonia musicorum instrumentorum opus (1500).
The following picture (below) is the reason, why we see Franchino Gaffori involved in our studies to the Lazzarelli text. It
is dated at an internet page with "1469"
as the "frontespizio of Franchino Gaffurio, De praticae musicae", but a comparition with the life dates of Gaffurio shows, that here is a
simple writing error and "1496" is the correct dating. So, as in first surprize assumed, not Gaffurio with his representation could have
influenced Lazzarelli (who's latest publishing date is 1482), but the logical (momentary) research situation sees either Lazzarelli influencing
Gaffurio or both reflecting a general farspread relation between planetaric spheres and Muses.
Gaffurio (* 1451) and Lazzarelli (* 1450) are of the same age, as the current research situation doesn't allow clear insight in the stations of
Lazzarelli's life, a relation and personal friendship to Gaffurio cannot be excluded, so the influence between both might have been a very personal one.
Lazzarelli was not only poet and later "magician", but also musician with public representations, as reported from 1469 in Padua (unclear source).
A meeting of Gaffurio and Lazzarelli in the late 70ies should have been likely, when they had a time in the same city.
Perhaps the successes of both young men (Lazzarelli in the Roman Pomponean Accademia in the early 80ies and Gaffurio 1484) at the same or a similar time
touch each other.
Also Leonardo da Vinci is of similar age (* 1452), who in 1484 was already at the Sforza court since 1480, but was not already the famous and well
paid artist as he became later. He at least has direct relationships to Gaffurio and should have known also Niccolo da Correggio, who had a familiary
relationship to the Sforzas - both, Leonardo and Niccolo, engaged in theatre questions and one of the major activities of Leonardo at
the Sforza court was the creation of technical constructions for the famous shows at the Sforza courts in the 90ies. Niccolo is of interest in the questions around Ludovico Lazzarelli.
"It was not until 1904 that the hand and sheet of music were discovered underneath overpaintings, and it is these that have given the painting its present
title. Since this discovery, efforts have also been made to identify the person depicted. The names of two important court musicians in Milan during that
period are known: Franchino Gaffurio (1451-1522) and Josquin des Prés (c. 1450-1521). But there is no clear indication enabling us to identify either of
these two in this portrait.
The attribution to Leonardo is debated. If the picture is Leonardo's work, this is the only portrait of a man executed by Leonardo."
(the picture is dated to 1490).
Info of web gallery of art
As far it is recognizeable, the paper shows notes of music
Gaffuri picture, relevant to the Lazzarelli studies
MENTIS APOLLINIAE VIS HAS MOVET VNDIQUE MV(?) SAS
|(8 Muses, the 9th is added to the bottom group)
|(from Archimedes (?))
|(according Plutarch and Ptolomaios (?))
|(8 Spheres according Ptolomaios)
Explanation: "The spirit of Apollo moves all and everything" (or similar) is the title, it follows below Apollo with 3 Charities to the left and an unidentified object to the right. The left column shows 8 of the 9 Muses, the 9th Muse Thalia is used in the bottom group together with the 4 elements. It is remarkable, that the presented order shows no similarity with the order of the Muses used b Lazzarelli (which is identical to the order of the Muses in the socalled Mantegna Tarocchi. The right column shows 8 spheres, according to the composition, which was given by Ptolomaios, it follows the common Chaldean row with Octavo Sphera, which seems to have been an invention of Ptolomaios.
The left middle column shows rare expressions, which seem to have appeared in the context of Archimedes, the right shows expressions, which seem
to be more common in old music theory and possibly go back to Plutarch. This link contains a text of Gaffurio, in which the expressions are used, this link also shows some of the expressions (main link) of this site, whih is complex work to the work of a French mathematican, who also had some relationship to music, Francesco Maurolico (1494-1575), also specialised on Archimedes. As I'm not very interested in music, it's difficult to me to understand the discussion.
Second relevant Gaffuri picture
This is given as frontispice of "Theorica Musica", F. Gaffurio, Milan, 1492 (in Lawlor, Robert. Sacred Geometry. NY: Thames & Hudson, 1982. p.7 and internet source, called the Platonic Lambda, which is said to go back to the Timaios of Platon as a speculation on the number rows 1,2,4,8, and 1, 3. 9, 27. A connection between this figure and the above shown other figure with 8 Muses and 8 Spheres can't be excluded (at the current moment of our research), the Lambda might appear on the picture of da Vinci as shown on the left side (top of page).
This article has a provisional character, perhaps it will change in short time.
- with thanks to Alain Bougearel and John Meador for some cooperative work