This painting refers to the first Aria of Antonio Vivaldi's ‘Nulla in mundo pax sincera’. 'Nulla in mundo pax sincera' is a sacred motet (RV630) composed by Vivaldi in 1735 to an anonymous Latin text. In 18th-century, a motet was defined as a sacred vocal work with a non-litugical Latin verse. The tile of this motet can be translated as 'In this world there is no honest peace' or 'There is no true peace in this world without bitterness'. Vivaldi's motets were intended as show pieces for one of the female musicians of the Figlie di Coro of the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice. This piece was created for a soprano of exceptionally high range (from E above middle C to the B a twelfth higher) and is one of the most interesting of Vivaldi’s early motets for the Pietà.
'Nulla in mundo pax sincera' consists of three parts, Aria; Recitative; Aria, followed by a concluding Alleluia. This painting is part of a series of four.
This painting refers to the first Aria of ‘Nulla in mundo pax sincera’. The text of this motet reflects in my opinion the world we are living today. But as this motet was written in 1735 and based on an anonymous Latin text, which could even be older, one may ask oneselves whether humankind has made much progress. Food for thought!
Nulla in mundo pax sincera
sine felle; pura et vera,
dulcis Jesu, est in te.
Inter poenas et tormenta
vivit anima contenta
casti amoris sola spe.
In this world there is no honest peace
free from bitterness; pure and true (i.e. peace)
sweet Jesus, lies in Thee.
Amidst punishment and torment
lives the contented soul,
chaste love its only hope.
Oil on Claessens linen, laid on wood
Original artwork by André Romijn
Size: 37.5 × 30 cm
Size hand-made frame 52 x 45 cm
Autograph on front – signed verso