Amati, Italian family of violinmakers of Cremona. The founder of the Cremona school was Andrea Amati (c.1520-c.1578), whose earliest violins date from c.1564. His labels bore the name Amadus, and he is credited with the basic design of the modern violin. His sons were Antonio Amati and Girolamo or Geronimo Amati, who worked together and followed closely their father's patterns in making violins of graceful shape and sweet tone. The Amati instruments had a characteristic amber-colored varnish. Niccolò Amati (1596-1684), son of Girolamo, brought the Amati violin to its height after c.1645. Antonio Stradivari and Andrea Guarneri were pupils of Niccolò. Niccolò's son, Girolamo (1649-1740), was the last of his line to achieve distinction. The Latin forms of the first names, Andreas, Antonius, Hieronymus, and Nicolaus, were generally used on the violin labels, and the family name was sometimes Latinized as Amatus.
Amati is the name of a family of Italian violin makers, who flourished at Cremona from about 1549 to 1740.

Family members

Andrea Amati

Andrea Amati (ca. 1505 – ca. 1578) was the earliest maker of violins whose instruments still survive today. Indeed he seems more or less responsible for giving the instruments of the modern violin family their definitive profile. A small number of his instruments survive, dated between the years of 1500 and 1574 and most bearing the coat of arms of Charles IX of France.

Antonio and Girolamo Amati

Andrea Amati was succeeded by his sons Antonio Amati (born ca. 1550) and Girolamo Amati (1551-1635). "The Brothers Amati", as they were known, implemented far-reaching innovations in design, including the perfection of the shape of the f-holes. They are also thought to have pioneered the modern alto format of viola, in contrast to older tenor violas.

Nicolo Amati

Nicolò Amati (December 3, 1596April 12, 1684) was the son of Girolamo Amati. He was the most eminent of the family. He improved the model adopted by the rest of the Amatis and produced instruments capable of yielding greater power of tone. His pattern was unusually small, but he also made a wider model now known as the "Grand Amati", which have become his most sought-after violins.

Of his pupils, the most famous were Antonio Stradivari and Andrea Guarneri, the first of the Guarneri family of violin makers. (There is much controversy regarding the apprenticeship of Antonio Stradivari. While Stradivari's first known violin states that he was a pupil of Amati, the validity of his statement is questioned.)

Girolamo Amati

The last maker of the family was Nicolo's son, Girolamo Amati, known as Hieronymus II (February 26, 1649February 21, 1740). Although he improved on the arching of his father's instruments, by and large they are inferior and no match for the greatest maker of his day, Antonio Stradivari.

Extant Amati instruments

See also


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