Lutnik Kowalski

 Luthier - HISTORY

     Luthier is a field of art dedicated to the construction of stringed instruments: strings like: violins, cellos, violas and double basses.

   The violin-making falls at the end of the Renaissance and early baroque (instruments from that period are different). The main centres of contemporary of violin-making was Italy : Cremona and Brescia.

   The father of violin-making was Andrea Amati. The date of his birth is not known but we can estimate that it was before 1511 and he died about 1580. He is thought that he created and shaped the form of a violin which we know it today. Appreciating his art, we build his model "Andrea Amati Charles IX" that is in the collection of the Museum of Instruments in Cremona, where we had an opportunity to be and admire his works.

   As a teacher he passed his knowledge tohis sons Antonio Amatiemu (1538-1595) and Girolamo Amatiemu (1561-1630), called in the nomenclature as "brothers Amati". They also contributed to the contemporary forms of stringed instruments.

   Girolamo passed his knowledge to his son Nicolo Amatiemu (1596-1684). Nicolo is considered the most prominent representative of his family. His instruments are the example of precision in finishing and modernity. At the beginning of his career, he created the instruments according his father rules, but in 1630 he changed the rules and started building on his own. We follow the examples of the basis of his violin "Alard 1649". I think that Nicolo can be presented as the father of the golden age of violin making because he taught Antonio Stradivari (1643 [1644] -1737), Girolamo Amati II (1649-1740), Andrea Guarneri (1629-1696), Giovanni Battista Røgeri (1642-1710).

   The most famous and the best known is Antonio Stradivari. At the beginning of his career he was subordinate to the master as it is written on the note inside the instrument "alumnus Nicola Amati" - that period we call "Amatis". He tried his best and made a perfect ones. The 1695-1720 are called Stradivari`s golden period. The most famous violin model from the beginning of this period is "Betts" from 1704. Antonio built the instruments till his death and throughout his career with his disciples and sons made more than 1,000 instruments.

   Andrea Guarneri, his sons Giovanni Pietro Guarneri (1655-1720) and Giuseppe Guarneri Giovanni Battista (1666-1744) and grandson are the most valued family of Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu (1698-1744). Guarneri del Gesu is considered by some to be the greatest representative of his time, and this is what the title rivals with Stradivarius. His instruments and precision of their execution deviate from the works of Stradivari, but the sound war will last. We have in our collection forms of Stradivarius "Sunrice 1677", "1710 Vieuxtemps" and forms based on instruments Guarneri del Gesu, including "Kreisler 1732". In my experience with musicians we know that more comfortable are instruments of Guarneri. Violin makers who were written here are the most valuable and examples are used in the contemporary building. Up to now, their works are reproduced and inspire the next generation of artists.