24 Facts About Antonio Stradivari


Antonio Stradivari was an Italian luthier and a craftsman of string instruments such as violins, cellos, guitars, violas and harps.

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Antonio Stradivari's instruments are considered some of the finest ever made, and are extremely valuable collector's items.

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Antonio Stradivari's ancestry consisted of notable citizens of Cremona, dating back to at least the 12th or 13th century.

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The latter explanation is supported by the word Cremonensis on many of Antonio Stradivari's labels, which suggests that he was born in the city instead of merely moving back there to work.

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Antonio Stradivari was born in 1644, a fact deducible from later violins.

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Antonio Stradivari likely began an apprenticeship with Nicola Amati between the ages of 12 and 14, although a minor debate surrounds this fact.

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However, Antonio Stradivari did not repeatedly put Amati's name on his labels, unlike many of Amati's other students.

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Some researchers believe early instruments by Antonio Stradivari bear a stronger resemblance to Francesco Rugeri's work than Amati's.

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An alternative theory is that Antonio Stradivari started out as a woodworker: the house he lived in from 1667 to 1680 was owned by Francesco Pescaroli, a woodcarver and inlayer.

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Antonio Stradivari was later exiled, though allowed to return to Cremona many years later.

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Antonio Stradivari purchased a house now known as No 1 Piazza Roma around 1680 for the sum of 7000 lire, 2000 of which he paid at the time of the purchase.

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Antonio Stradivari probably worked in the loft and attic, and he stayed in this house for the rest of his life.

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Antonio Stradivari's will, dated 1729, counted eight living heirs, including his wife.

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Antonio Stradivari's remaining two sons from his first marriage had both worked in the family shop.

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Antonio Stradivari's instruments underwent no major change in the next five years, although in 1688 he began cutting a more distinct bevel and began outlining the heads of instruments in black, a quite original improvement.

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Pre-1690 instruments are sometimes termed "Amatise" but this is not completely accurate; it is largely because Antonio Stradivari created many more instruments later on that people try to connect his early work with Amati's style.

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Antonio Stradivari probably worked in the loft and attic, and he lived in this house for the rest of his life.

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Antonio Stradivari switched to using a darker, richer varnish, as opposed to a yellower varnish similar to that used by Amati.

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Antonio Stradivari continued to use this pattern until 1698, with few exceptions.

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Also, most of the other major Cremonese luthiers died soon after Antonio Stradivari, putting an end to the golden period of Cremona's violin making, which lasted more than 150 years, starting with the Amatis and ending with the Cerutis.

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Antonio Stradivari learned about them in Paris between 1779 and 1789 when he worked closely with Leopold Renaudin, another one of Strad's followers.

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Antonio Stradivari had a great ability to imitate the original varnish and intricacy of the instrument.

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Antonio Stradivari's instruments are regarded as amongst the finest bowed stringed instruments ever created, are highly prized, and are still played by professionals today.

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Antonio Stradivari's violins are desired more than those of any other luthier except his contemporary, Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu, who commands a similar respect among violinists.

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