Pietro Giovanni was the most eminent member of the Mantegazza family. He studied under Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi and worked together with his brother Domenico in the early part of his career. From 1776 his family was associated with the collector Count Cozio di Salabue, the patron of G.B. Guadagnini. This connection would have brought them not only status, but also guaranteed them commissions, and given them access to the plethora of fine instruments in Cozio’s collection. This also explains Mantegazza’s predilection for the Guadagnini model.
Mantegazza’s best work is without doubt a match for that of his teacher, as is shown by the quality of materials, execution and varnish of the circa 1770 violin. His reputation rests primarily on the fine violas that he made in the 1780s and 1790s, such as the one from circa 1780.