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date: 09 December 2019

Verdelot [Deslouges], Philippelocked

  • H. Colin Slim
  • , revised by Stefano La Via

Extract

(b Verdelot, Les Loges, Seine-et-Marne, c1480–85; d ?Florence, ?1530–32, before 1552). French composer. He was the most important composer of Italian madrigals before Arcadelt, and one of the pioneers of the genre.

Practically nothing is known of Verdelot’s early career; it was presumably spent in northern France before he went to northern Italy at a fairly early stage. He may have been in Venice as early as the first decade of the 16th century. According to Vasari (Le vite, 2/1568, later followed by Vincenzo Borghini in Il riposo, 1584), shortly before leaving Venice for Rome in 1511 the artist Sebastiano del Piombo painted ‘Verdelot franzese musico eccellentissimo’ together with ‘Ubretto suo compagno cantore’. Despite much research this painting has not yet been identified and dated with certainty, nor has any light been shed on the identity of Verdelot’s companion. Some (including Freedberg and Slim, later questioned by Pirrotta and by Hirst) believe that Vasari was referring to a painting (once housed at the Kaiser-Freidrich Museum in Berlin, but destroyed at the end of World War II) that portrays Verdelot at a little over 40 years old (30 according to Amati-Camperi) in the company of the younger composer Hubert Naich. Others (from Friedeberg to Ramsden), however, believe the painting is the famous ...

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