Camillo Camilli was in all probability a pupil of Antonio Zanotti, and there are striking similarities between the rather delicate circa 1725 Camilli violin and the circa 1720 Zanotti. However, the maker who influenced him most was Pietro Guarneri, who had founded the Mantuan school when he arrived from Cremona in the early 1680s. There is little to separate the 1730 Camilli violin from the 1704 Peter Guarneri, other than the slightly smaller model, the somewhat unorthodox materials and perhaps a little extra swing in the f-holes.
Camilli’s output consists almost entirely of violins — his violas and cellos are extremely rare. His work is less masculine than that of his Mantuan contemporary Tomaso Balestrieri, but his interesting choice of wood and beautiful golden-orange varnish makes his instruments among the most attractive of his day.
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