Violin Maker
Santo Serafin

Italy, Venice

Born in Udine around 1699, he probably arrived in Venice at the age of 20, and probably worked at another venetian maker's workshop until 1733 when he set up his own, and unleashed his very own style.Clearly inspired by Amati and deeply involved in the local tradition. Serafin's work is rather rare and considered the most elegant of the Venetian school, and the tone quality and materials are generally superb. After no more than a decade commanding his workshop, Serafin retired from the violin making around 1744.Read more

Short Bio

Full Name: Santo Serafin


New making style: n/a


Master Maker

Venetian Tradition

Instruments Owned by Collectors

Acknowledge Maker Worldwide

Excellent Craftsmanship and material

Locally making

Italy, Venice

Maker Background

Santo Serafino is one of the most celebrated violin makers in history, known for his exceptional craftsmanship and the exquisite beauty of his instruments. Born in 1699 in Udine, a town in northeastern Italy, Serafino moved to Venice at a young age and it is likely that he began his career as an apprentice in the shop of Francesco Goffriller, a renowned luthier of the time.

Serafino quickly gained a reputation for his exceptional skill as a violin maker, and in 1733, he established his own shop in Venice. Over the years, he developed a distinctive style that combined the elegance and grace of the Venetian tradition, notable in the high quality 'venetian red' varnish, with the power and depth of the Cremonese school. After no more than a decade approximately commanding his workshop, Serafin left the Venetian Merchant's Guild in 1745, but it is imprecise to say that this was the end of his career as a violin maker, as his nephew and probably only pupil, Giorgio Serafino, kept working until he subscribed his own company at the Guild.

Serafino's instruments are rare, characterized by their rich, warm sound, and their exceptional projection and responsiveness. He used only the finest materials in his work, carefully selecting the best-quality woods and varnishes to create instruments that were not only beautiful but also highly functional.

Santo Serafino's style was heavily influenced by the work of the great Venetian makers of the 17th and 18th centuries, such as his predecessors Domenico Montagnana and Matteo Goffriller. He was also deeply inspired by the work of the Cremonese makers, particularly the Amati legacy. Serafino's instruments are known for their elegant, elongated forms and refined f-holes, which are hallmarks of the Venetian style. At the same time, the models of his instruments are recognized for their powerful sound and rich tonal colors, reminiscent of the Cremonese influence.

Throughout his career, Serafino's instruments were highly sought after by the leading musicians of his day, considering his contemporary virtuosos such as Antonio Vivaldi and Giuseppe Tartini. Today, his instruments remain highly prized by musicians and collectors alike, and are considered some of the finest examples of Italian violin making.

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