Richard played the violin as a boy and later owned a clavichord as well as an upright piano. His friend John Bickerdike introduced him to Renaissance music and the viol family which appear a lot in his work of the 20s. He even wrote some music using a sort of counterpoint. His extraordinary picture 'The Judgement' illustrates Cecilia, the patron saint of music, judging musical instruments which cascade through the air in a church interior.
This is probably a theorbo with two sets of strings which meant it could produce some lovely resonant bass notes. The bookcase contains some of Richard’s own books of Byrd’s music and other composers of that era.
The men dance in front of a backdrop of the sea while the concertina player leans on a wall. The fifth man seems necessary for the composition but is one too many for this square dance. The clown joins in with a dignified solo of his own.
A different approach to The Last Judgement when instruments instead of people are being judged here by their patron saint Cecilia. A ‘spiritual’ gust of wind blows the curtains whipping up all the sheet music. Some choirboys watch incredulously from a high balcony.