"The Francesca" Violin, Antonio Stradivari (Italian, Cremona 1644–1737 Cremona), Maple, spruce, ebony, mother of pearl, Italian (Cremona)

"The Francesca" Violin

Antonio Stradivari (Italian, Cremona 1644–1737 Cremona)
Cremona, Italy
Italian (Cremona)
Maple, spruce, ebony, mother of pearl
Height: 23 in. (58.4 cm)
Width: 8 in. (20.3 cm)
Depth (at lower bout): 1 3/16 in. (3 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Annie Bolton Matthews Bryant, 1933
Accession Number:
Not on view
Antonio Stradivari (b. Cremona?, 1644?; d. Cremona, 1737) has long been thought to have been an apprentice of Nicolò Amati, but census documents do not list Stradivari as a garzone (shopboy) in the Amati household. Stradivari's early instruments do show the stylistic influence of the Amati, but as Girolamo II and Nicolò were the principal makers in Cremona during Stradivari's formative years, it would be natural for Stradivari to have been influenced by their work. Antonio Stradivari worked with two of his sons, Francesco (1671-1743) and Omobono (1679-1742), and today over 600 instruments survive from this prodigious workshop. Stradivari experimented with the shape and arching of the violin. In 1690 he devised a somewhat longer and narrower body outline that is referred to as the "long pattern." By 1700 he abandoned this pattern and reverted to the broader shape that was typical of his earlier violins.
Marking: (on label pasted inside body) Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonensis/Faciebat Anno 1694
Annie Bolton Matthews Bryant ; Anne Fay Bolton Matthews ; Marie Rose Collins (until 1906) ; Patrick A. Collins ; [ William E. Hill & Sons ] ; [ Silvestre and Maucolet purchased 1896] ; Mr. Krone (purchased, Marseilles, 1856)
Jayson Kerr Dobney, Bradley Strauchen-Scherer. Musical Instruments: Highlights of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. First Printing. @2015 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. New York, 2015, pp. 76-77, ill.

"Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (2011), pg. 41, ill.

Ed. Katharine Baetjer. Watteau, Music, and Theater. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2009, pg. 132, fig. 59, ill.

Musical Instruments of the Western World. McGraw Hill Book Company. New York, Toronto, 1967, pg. 184-186, fig. 70, ill.