Pianos in Art

I went to the Newport Jazz Festival in August of 2018, and one of the performances that I saw was Robert Glasper and his group "R+R=NOW," which features Glasper on keyboards, along with Terrace Martin (keyboards and saxophone), Christian Scott (trumpet), Derrick Hodge (bass), Justin Tyson (drums), and multi-instrumentalist Taylor McFerrin. It was a fantasic performance, and I've been enjoying listening to this group's music long after the concert. The main stage at Newport had a large video screen, which showed close-ups of the band members as they played, and two of the memorable images were the close-up of Robert Glasper's hands as he played the keyboards (below left), and a view from behind Glasper, looking out into the Newport Harbor (below right).

Robert Glasper performing at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival

On my drive from New Jersey up to Newport in Rhode Island, I made a stop in New Haven to visit the Yale University Art Gallery, and I saw this fantastic cubist painting below left, titled "At The Piano" by Nadezhda Udaltsova. It grabbed my attention because it has the feel of a Picasso or Braque cubist painting, but it's by a Russian artist who was living in Moscow at the time that she painted it. But a little research of her Wikipedia page shows that she spent time in Paris from 1912-1913, so she certainly would have had time to see and absorb the ideas and style of Picasso and Braque's cubist paintings.

Seeing this painting, along with enjoying seeing Robert Glasper in concert, got me curious to see what other art works I could find that focused on the piano as the subject matter. Below is a collection of paintings and photographs that include this musical theme.

At the Piano by Nadezhda Udaltsova

At the Piano, 1915, by Nadezhda Udaltsova.

The Piano Lesson by Henri Matisse

The Piano Lesson, 1916, by Henri Matisse.

Young Woman Seated at a Virginal by Johannes Vermeer

Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, circa 1670-72, by Johannes Vermeer. A "virginal" is a keyboard instrument of the harpsichord family.

Two Young Girls at the Piano by Auguste Renoir

Two Young Girls at the Piano, 1892, by Auguste Renoir.

Fountain Flowing from a Grand Piano by Salvador Dali

Necrophiliac Fountain Flowing from a Grand Piano, 1933, by Salvador Dali.

Painted piano by Yayoi Kusama

Painted piano by Yayoi Kusuma.

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