A Violin by Matteo Goffriller, Venice, c. 1720
This violin was made around the year 1720 during the golden age of Venice violin making, when some of the greatest violin makers were active in the city. Goffriller’s workmanship is remarkable for its technical proficiency and elegance of design, as well as its distinctive sound quality and projection.
The violin is known for its outstanding quality—the instrument has been described as having “a voice like no other”. The violin has been crafted with the finest materials, including a two-piece, medium-width grain spruce top with bear claw figures. A fine violin by the Venetian luthier Matteo Goffriller is a valuable work of one of the last Venetian makers of the great golden age of Venice. 18th century instruments are becoming more rarely encountered on the market and appear to be much sought after.
Matteo Goffriller (1659 – 1742) – Venice, Italy
Considered to be one of the founders of the classical Venetian school. From 1690 to 1715, he was the principal source of new stringed instruments in the city. His making was unique at that time, widely known for its innovation and high quality, which later influenced all Venetian violin makers, including Domenico Montagnana, Santo Serafin, Carlo Tononi and Pietro Guarneri.
He had probably learned the art of violin making before he arrived in Venice, with, apparently, Matthias Albani, around the city where he was born, Bressanone, in the Italian Alps; however, he still entered Venice’s violin making school to strengthen his roots. He collaborated with another violin maker, Mathias Kaiser, who became his father-in-law later in life. In 1690 he inherited Mathias’s workshop, establishing his own in Venice’s center,
In his work, it is possible to see some Cremonese makers influences, such as the flat arching like Strad and the Amati patterned layout. His instruments feature an expressive force and a great beauty, of which some have even been wrongly attributed to Stradivari in the past. He had a strong influence in the development of the typical deep red varnish, which later became the main characteristic of the venetian style. At that time, Vivaldi was working as a violin teacher in a place where orphan girls were taught music. Vivaldi, was the one responsible for dealing with violin makers to acquire new instruments for the institution. As for that, Vivaldi and Matteo Goffriller not only knew each other but also did business together!
Fine violins, violas and cellos
A fine Goffriller violin was recently sold by Amorim Fine Violins Cremona to a German concertmaster. Goffriler’s work is known to be very clean and precise and his instruments are sought after by all types of musicians. Amorim Fine Violins Cremona is a respected violin shop that buys, sells, and restores instruments of the violin family.
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