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This is one of a series of images Burney produced satirising attitudes towards music. Here his subject is the ‘battle’ between traditional and modern music. Modern music is represented by Beethoven and Mozart, whose names appear in the foreground. Traditional music is represented by a bust of Handel in the upper centre. A group of musicians is playing (badly) music by Handel’s contemporary, Corelli. They are dressed in the traditional clothing of Handel’s day, including the ‘tye-wigs’ mentioned in the title.

February 2016