Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi spent his working life in Milan. We do not know for sure with whom he studied, but it is certainly possible that his mentor was G.B. Guadagnini, who moved to Milan in 1749. This would explain why Landolfi does not appear to have been active as a violin maker until about 1750. Guadagnini’s influence is clearly in evidence in Landolfi’s work, which shows few similarities with the earlier Milanese makers such as Grancino and Testore. The rich red varnish of the stunning 1752 violin is reminiscent of the luminescent varnish of Guadagnini’s Milan period.
The circa 1770 viola is a little less refined than the violins, perhaps betraying the hand of an ageing man. The model, with its stretched C-bouts, is characteristic of Landolfi’s work, and the back shows the texture of his best varnish.
From the 1760s he was assisted by his son Pietro Antonio, and by Pietro Giovanni Mantegazza, who was arguably his most gifted pupil.