Son of Alessandro Gagliano and brother of Nicola, Gennaro Gagliano is considered one of the best makers of the family. He appears not to have inherited the individuality of his father, and turned instead to Stradivari and Amati for his inspiration. Stradivari’s influence is particularly clear in the magnificent ex-Barbirolli cello circa 1760, with the chamfers of the pegbox blackened and with its beautifully cut, elegant f-holes.
Gennaro’s varnish differs from that of his brother, Nicola, in that he tended to use a deeper, red-orange pigment rather than the orange-yellow that became the standard in the family towards the end of the 18th century. Although Gennaro did not have any direct violin-making descendants, it is widely accepted that he was the teacher of his nephew, Ferdinando.