Amati Violin

Description (Brief)
This violin was made by Nicolo Amati in Cremona, Italy in 1675. Nicolo Amati (1596-1684) was from the third generation of the famous Amati family in Cremona. The son of Hieronymous I, Nicolo is commonly regarded as the greatest maker of the family. He is renowned for having
developed refinement, elegance and attention to detail not seen in the work of earlier makers. While using a variety of models, he developed a favorite large pattern of exquisite proportions which is known in our time as the “Grand Pattern” Amati. These instruments, with bodies of greater length and width than others of his output, have powerful voices suitable even for the modern soloist. The violin is made of a two-piece table of spruce, back of two-piece slab maple with irregular fine gently descending figure with broad figure at the upper bout corners, ribs of similar maple, grafted maple neck terminating in the original pegbox and scroll of even medium figured maple, and golden-orange-brown varnish.
Description
This violin has an original printed label:
Nicolaus Amatus Cremonen
Hieronymi Fil. ac Antonij Nepos Fecit 1675
Nicolo Amati (1596-1684) was from the third generation of the famous Amati family in Cremona. The son of Hieronymous I, Nicolo is commonly regarded as the greatest maker of the family. While using a variety of models, he developed a favorite large pattern which is known as the "Grand Pattern" Amati.
This instrument from the last decade of Nicolo Amati's life is built on the "Grand Pattern" and is a good example of the period, but it lacks the fluid elegance and grace of earlier examples. It is possible that this violin was constructed and finished with the help of students in the shop and with the aid of Nicolo's son, Hieronymous II (1649-1740), who was himself a fine maker but lacked the power and gift of his father.
It is difficult to overestimate the impact of Nicolo in the development of the violin. He took the work of his grandfather and uncle to new heights of excellence. He then passed his influence, knowledge and aesthetic to students who included Andrea Guarneri, Francesco Rugieri and Antonio Stradivari. It is possible that Jacob Stainer may at some point have studied with Nicolo, but if not, his work was certainly influenced by the genius of this Cremonese master.
Object Name
violin
date made
1675
maker
Amati, Nicolo
Physical Description
spruce (table material)
maple (back material)
Place Made
Italia: Lombardia, Cremona
ID Number
1979.0548.01
accession number
1979.0548
catalog number
1979.0548.01
subject
Violins
Music & Musical Instruments
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Violins
Exhibition
Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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