Giuseppe Giovanni Battista Guarneri
|Giuseppe Guarneri ‘filius Andreae’|
Giovanni Battista Giuseppe Guarneri|
25 November 1666
|Died||1740 (aged 73–74)|
(m. 1690; d. 1737)
Giuseppe Giovanni Battista Guarneri, better known as Giuseppe filius Andrea Guarneri (25 November 1666–c. 1739/1740) was a violin maker from the prominent Guarneri family of luthiers who lived in Cremona, Italy.
Giovanni Battista Giuseppe Guarneri (known as Giuseppe ‘filius Andreae’) was born on November 25, 1666, to Andrea Guarneri and Anna Maria Orcelli, in the parish of San Matteo in Cremona. A few years earlier his father had left the workshop of Nicolò Amati. Giuseppe, also known as "Joseph Guarnerius, filius Andreæ" (in Latin) was the younger son of Andrea Guarneri. Giuseppe's older brother, Pietro Giovanni Guarneri (Pietro I, b. 1655; d. 1720), was a musician as well as a violinmaker.
In 1677, Pietro married Caterina Sussagni, but he continued to live in the family home. Young Giuseppe probably entered his father’s workshop at this time. By 1685, Giuseppe's workmanship had surpassed their father's, and when Andrea died in 1698 Giuseppe took over the shop.
Competition with Stradivari
A promising young violin maker named Antonio Stradivari was emerging, who in 1680 moved his workshop to the Piazza San Domenico, just a few metres away from the Casa Guarneri. Because of this increasing local competition, by 1683, Pietro had moved to Mantua, leaving Giuseppe to work in their father's shop.
Marriage and family
in 1690, Giuseppe married young Barbara Franchi, a parishioner of Sant’ Agata, who then joined the Guarneri family in the house on Piazza San Domenico. In the meantime the health of Andrea seems to have further declined, thereby increasing his son’s responsibility in the running of the family workshop.
Giuseppe's younger son, Bartolomeo Giuseppe (b. 1698; d. 1744), became the most celebrated member of the dynasty. Because he used the letters I.H.S. on his labels, he became known as ‘del Gesù’. He was one of the greatest makers ever; many feel his instruments are better than Stradivari's. Del Gesù violins are renowned for their rich, powerful tone, and have been favoured by virtuosos from Paganini to Pinchas Zukerman.
War of the Spanish Succession
Cremona was by this time experiencing one of its most troubled periods. Involved in the War of Spanish Succession, the city was besieged by Austrian troops and was finally captured in the Battle of Cremona in 1702, when Prince Eugenio of Savoy, the commander of the Habsburg troops, stormed the city. Through all of this, Giuseppe continued his work.
Giuseppe's health had declined so much that in the parish of year 1730 he is absent because he was hospitalized. He was back at home by the time of the 1731, but was now incapable of working. His son, Bartolomeo, who did not make violins for years, came back to Guarneri Workshop to help his father. Giuseppe continued to assist Bartolomeo, particularly in the carving of the heads between year 1731 and 1739.
In the Easter of year 1740, Giuseppe ‘filius Andreae’ was no longer present in the family house. It is likely that he died in early 1740 in one of the city’s seven hospitals. It is nevertheless strange that he was not buried in the family tomb in San Domenico – perhaps he died out of town or of a contagious disease.
Continued working in the Amatisé style of his father, Andrea, but latterly was influenced by his close neighbour Antonio Stradivari.
Around 1705, Giuseppe introduced a new violin model with a wider upper bout and a narrower middle bout that is distinctively squarish in shape. He also changed the soundholes from the short and sinuous Amati style to a longer and more rigid design. Giuseppe's designs was influenced by Gasparo da Salo of Brescian School, and incorporated some of the stylistic refinements of his older brother (Peter of Mantua); the outline tended to be more narrow waisted, the f-holes were lower and more elegant, and he used a richer, more Brescian varnish. This pursuit of excellence continued into the next generation. and perfected by Giuseppe's son, Bartolomeo Giuseppe.
Giuseppe filius Andrea's label
Typical Giuseppe Guarneri label.
- Joseph Guarnerius, filius Andreæ
- fecit Cremonse, sub titulo S. Teresiae, 16XX
Translation: Joseph Guarnerius, son of Andrea made this in Cremona, under the title of Saint Theresa, 16XX
- Amighetti, Claudio (October 5, 2016). "Giuseppe Guarneri 'filius Andreae'". Tarisio.
- Dilworth, John; Hart, George. "Biography of Giuseppe Guarneri". Amati.
- Reuning, editor, Christopher (2010). Carlo Bergonzi : alla scoperta di un grande maestro : a Cremonese master unveiled. Cremona [Italy]: Fondazione Antonio Stradivari Cremona - La Triennale. ISBN 888983918X.
- Hill, William Henry (1932). The Violin Makers of the Guarneri Family: Their Life and Work. London: W.E. Hill & Sons. OCLC 23741230.
- Fushi, Geoffrey (n.d.). "The 'Vieuxtemps' Giuseppe Giovanni Battista Guarneri del Gesù". Bein & Fushi. Chicago: Bein & Fushi Inc.
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