INGING at Mass recently, I mentioned to my friend (Jordan Pacheco) that I don’t know any music which is more awesome or passionate than Measures 20-21 (Tenor Line) in this Palestrina score. I used to think Palestrina was “boring” or “vanilla”—but I was wrong. (Boy, was I ever wrong!) But what did Palestrina actually look like? Do we know?
Fr. Cristóbal de Morales: We know what Father Cristóbal de Morales looked like. Scroll to the bottom of this article to see a contemporary picture of his face.
Fr. Francisco Guerrero: We also know what Father Francisco Guerrero looked like. Click here to see a contemporary image, which Corpus Christi Watershed paid an artist to “realize.”
Father Lawrence Lew recently sent me this image of Palestrina next to Guido d’Arezzo:
It is found on the Cathedral of Florence (the “Duomo of Firenze”), which was completed approximately 100 years before Palestrina was born. I guess that means the sculpture was added later? Here’s the full photograph by Father Lawrence Lew, OP—perhaps the world’s greatest photographer:
He is holding a score to “Missa Papæ Marcelli.” Our readers will understand why.