Medieval Fiddle after da Vinci by Fabio Chiari
This medieval fiddle (vielle or lira) is made by Italian master luthier Fabio Chiari. Its design is inspired by an instrument made by Leonardo da Vinci around 1500.
Unfortunately none of da Vinci's drawings or writings about his instrument have survived, but it is mentioned by Giorgio Vasari in his “Lives of the Most Excellent Painters and Sculptors”. Contemporaneous reports by Vasari and others describe da Vinci giving the Duke of Milan a silver lira shaped like a horse’s skull, with a very resonant sound. Later hypotheses suggest that Leonardo had made an in-depth study of equine anatomy and, having examined the shape of the skull, he tried using it as the sound box for a lira.
This medieval fiddle is the result of Chiari's research into da Vinci's lira. The shape of the body adds to the resonance of the instrument. It has been made exclusively with Italian woods including maple, pearwood and poplar.