Lute is one of my favourite musical instruments I really love to hear while working, writing or reading. Lute was the most important instrument in secular Renaissance era. The player of a lute is called a lutenist, lutanist, “lewtist” or lutist, and a maker of lutes is referred to as a luthier. Lutes at the peak of its time were played and men and women alike.
Lute is featured in a few paintings by Dutch painters from the 17th Century like Vermeer and Hals. I am not entirely sure why the painting by Vermeer is titled Buffoon Playing Lute. To me he looks nothing like a buffoon but more like a happy chap playing lute for other peoples’ entertainment.