Andrea Amati is credited with creating the first instruments of the violin family. HIs contributions included standardizing elements that are common on violins today including the f-shaped soundholes, the scroll, and the use of four strings. Amati established the proportions of the violin and built violas and cellos in order to have en entire ensemble of violin-type instruments. Amati built his instruments using an internal mold, which contributed to a high-consistency in his final instruments. Andrea was also the first of the Cremonese school of luthiers and the standard for the work of those who followed for the next two centuries including his two sons, his grandson Nicolò, members of the Guarneri family, Antonio Stradivari, and others.
The maple back and sides of The Met's violin are decorated with the Latin couplet "Quo unico propugnaculo stat stabiq[ue] religio" (By this bulwark alone religion stands and will stand). The back of the instrument is decorated with fleurs-de-lis in the corners, a geometric design with floral ornamentation between the upper bouts, and a few traces of pigment in the middle of the back where there is presumed to have been a coat of arms. Similarities between the decoration on the Museum's violin and that on a violetta by Andrea Amati in the collection of the Musée de la Musique in Paris has led to speculation that the violin was part of a set of instruments presented upon the marriage of Philip II of Spain to Elisabeth of Valois in 1559. The decoration found on the violetta in Paris has a more clearly defined coat of arms for the Spanish king, who took the daughter of Catherine de' Medici as his third wife.
Certificates: Stradivari Bicentennial, 1937 Emil Herrmann, February 27, 1941 Frederick W. Oster, February 1, 1999
Description: One-piece maple back of medium figure descending left to right; the ribs of similarly figured maple; the scroll and pegbox of unfigured maple grafted onto a modern neck, the top of fine to medium grain spruce in two pieces; traces remain of the original varnish and oil-gilded and red-painted decoration including a geometric design on ribs and back and a Latin motto on ribs, repeated on the back, and a retouched foliage ornament on back of pegbox (gilding slightly retouched, elsewhere as well) protected by later varnish, golden-brown overall; modern ebony fingerboard, ornamentally carved pegs and tailpiece, tailpiece button, saddle nut, and bridge, and internal modifications including a modern soundpost and bass bar
#Gigue from Partita No. 2 in d minor by Johann Sebastian Bach, played by Sean Avram Carpenter, 2011.
Gigue from Partita No. 2 in d minor by Johann Sebastian Bach, played by Sean Avram Carpenter, 2011.
Jorg Michael Schwarz.
A prelude from Nicola Cosimi's "Select Preludes & Vollentarys for the Violin". Recorded February 2010
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Title:ex "Kurtz" Violin
Maker:Andrea Amati (Italian, Cremona ca. 1505–1578 Cremona)
Medium:Spruce, maple, ebony, paint, gilding
Dimensions:Height: 22 5/8 in. (57.4 cm) Width: 7 15/16 in. (20.2 cm)
Credit Line:Purchase, Robert Alonzo Lehman Bequest, 1999
Body length: 13 7/8 in. (35.3 cm) Width of lower bouts: 8 in. (20.2 cm) Width of upper bouts: 6 3/8 in. (16.1 cm) Width of center bouts: 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm)
Marking: 1. (stamped on front edge of fingerboard, dealer's inventory number) 3272 2. the internal paper label is a modern facsimile
[ Vintage Instruments 1998-1999] ; Arved Kurtz (New York, 1941-1998) ; [ Harry Wahl ; sold by Hermann to Kurtz] ; Robert L. Dennison (until 1940) ; Mr. Fraenkel (ca. 1934) ; Dr. Steiner-Schweitzer (1927 -1930, sold by Hermann to Fraenkel) ; Emil Herrmann (after 1924) ; [ Rembert Wurlitzer 1923-–1924; sold to Herrmann] ; Miss Hilda Barry (Freemantle) (1896–1923; sold by W. E. Hill & Sons to Wurlitzer) ; [ W. E. Hill & Sons until 1896; sold to Miss Hilda Barry; 1923–1924] ; Sidney Courtald (after 1890) ; Edward Heron-Allen (until 1890) ; George Soames (until ca. 1885) ; Michael Longridge (1873; sold to George Withers & Sons) ; [ Edward Withers Sr. 1873; sold to Michael Longridge] ; Sir Louis Mallet (until 1873; sold to Edward Withers Sr.) ; Oliphant and Pellew (until 1870) ; Phillip II of Spain (ca. 1560)
Cremona. "Bicentenario Stradivariano," May 1937–October 1938.
Cremona. "Amati Family Violins," October 9, 1982–October 18, 1982.
Museo Civico Ala Ponzone. "Andrea Amati Opera Omnia," Sep-29-Oct-14-2007.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions," October 24, 2008–February 1, 2009.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York," February 7, 2011 - July 4, 2011.
Jayson Kerr Dobney, Newsquest Specialist Media Limited. "Pride of New York." 1507. The Strad (2015), vol. 126, pp. 51–56, ill.
Jayson Kerr Dobney. "Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York." Winter 2011. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (2011), pp. 8, 10, cat. 10–12, ill.
J. Kenneth Moore. Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977-2008. Ed. James R. Houghton The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2009, pp. 76–77, figs. 90–91, ill.
Fausto Cacciatori, Ente triennale internazionale degli strumenti ad arco inAndrea Amati Opera Omnia: Les Violons du Roi. Exhibition catalogue., Consorzio Liutai Antonio Stradivari Cremona. Cremona, 2007, pp. 214–223, various other references throughout book, ill.
J. Kenneth Moore. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1998-1999." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1999), p. 28, ill.
Andrea Mosconi, Laurence C. Witten inCapolavori di Andrea Amati. Catalogue., Ente Triennale Internazionale Degli Strumenti ad Arco. Cremona, 1984, ill.
Laurence C. Witten. "The Surviving Instruments of Andrea Amati." Early Music (1982), Volume 10, Issue 4.
Ruggiero Ricci, Rembert Wurlitzer inThe Glory of Cremona. Recording., Brunswick. New York, 1973.
Karel Jalovec. Italian Violin Makers. Anglo-Italian Publication Limited. London, 1964, ill.
L'Esposizione di Liuteria Antica a Cremona nel 1937: Per La Celebrazione Del Bicentenario Stradivari. Comitato Stradivariano: Cremona, 1938. Cremona, 1938, ill.
Meisterwerke italienischer Geigenbaukunst. Hamma & Co.. Stuttgart, 1932, ill.
Emil Herrmann inRare Violins in the Possession of Emil Herrmann. Catalogue., Emil Herrmann. New York, 1927, ill.
Edward Heron-Allen. Violin-Making, As It Was and Is: Being a Historical, Practical, and Theoretical Treatise on the Science and Art of Violin-Making. Ward, Lock, and Co.,. London, 1884, ill.
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