28th March 2017
1 instrument by Antonio Zanotti
Little is known about Antonio Zanotti, but he is credited with having been the teacher of Camillo Camilli. He was born in Lodi in Lombardy, which lies halfway between Milan and Cremona. He established himself as a maker in Mantua, but it is not known for sure with whom he studied. It has been suggested that Zanotti may be the missing link between Pietro Guarneri and Camilli, and the existence of Zanotti instruments with decoration in the style of the 1685 Guarneri featured in this archive backs up this theory.
The delicacy of Zanotti’s work is evident in the circa 1720 violin featured here, and it makes a fascinating comparison with the circa 1725 Camilli. The model, f-holes and varnish are all virtually identical, but the Camilli gives a slightly more masculine impression, due to the squareness of the upper and lower bouts, the rather more prominent corners, and the more robust upper tongues of the f-holes.