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Pietro Guarneri of Venice

Pietro Guarneri, son of Giuseppe filius Andreæ, left his native Cremona around 1717, having assisted in the family workshop for about 10 years. At that time, the dominance of Stradivari was probably strangling the Casa Guarneri, and Pietro would have been aware that if he was to be successful, his future lay elsewhere. His move to the bustling musical city of Venice was a brave one, given the plethora of violin makers active there at the time, but his family name and the reputation of Cremona would have helped him to establish himself.

He worked for Matteo Sellas for sixteen years, from 1717 to 1733, sitting alongside Carlo Tononi for a time, and the first instruments bearing his own label date from around 1725. In 1733 he established his own shop, and the next fifteen years or so saw the production of his best instruments.

Despite his Cremonese heritage, Pietro successfully incorporated the flamboyance of the Venetian style into his work, and it is this skilful combination of the traditions of Cremona and Venice that is his legacy. The swing of the f-holes on the circa 1745 violin is distinctly Venetian, as is the deep red of the varnish on the 1725 cello. His bold, deeply cut scrolls, however, owe much to his father (compare Pietro’s circa 1745 scroll with his father’s circa 1705 scroll).

Pietro Guarneri of Venice

(b Cremona, 1695; d Venice, 1762)

Pietro Guarneri, son of Giuseppe filius Andreæ, left his native Cremona around 1717, having assisted in the family workshop for about 10 years. At that time, the dominance of Stradivari was probably strangling the Casa Guarneri, and Pietro would have been aware that if he was to be successful, his future lay elsewhere. His move to the bustling musical city of Venice was a brave one, given the plethora of violin makers active there at the time, but his family name and the reputation of Cremona would have helped him to establish himself.

He worked for Matteo Sellas for sixteen... Read more

Instruments we have sold by this maker

Articles

Four centuries of violin making

17 September 2018 - Dilworth, John

Why Cremona? The classical violin, one of the great cultural symbols of Western civilisation, is an almost entirely Italian phenomenon. In the pages of this book — perhaps the most comprehensive survey published to date of fine concert and collectible... Read more

A violin by Pietro Guarneri of Venice

20 October 2017 - Dilworth, John

In his final article examining featured instruments from our forthcoming auction, the luthier, restorer and expert John Dilworth analyses lot 186 – the Ex-Victor Aitay Peter Guarneri violin made in Venice circa 1750-55. Each member of the Guarneri family wrought... Read more

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