A somewhat mysterious maker of eighteenth century Mantua, Zanotti was born in 1695, and according to his labels in which he describes himself as ‘Lodegianus’, in Lodi in southern Lombardy. He settled in Mantua after 1724, and his known work appears from 1726 and continues until 1745. In his early years he may have encountered Hieronymus II Amati, who was present in Lodi around the turn of the century, but nothing certain is known about his training. In Mantua, following the death of Peter Guarneri in 1720, who had been appointed as violin maker to the Ducal Court, Zanotti offered some competition to the native Mantuan maker Camillus Camilli, his very close contemporary, and in the years 1731-2, the two men signed an agreement to respect each other’s trade. Both makers share many traits, although Zanotti’ work is generally less refined than Camilli’s, and take many stylistic cues from Pietro Guarneri.
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