Guarneri (gwärnĕˈrē) [key] or Guarnerius gwärnĕrˈēəs, family of violinmakers of Cremona, Italy. The first craftsman of the family was Andrea Guarneri, c.1626–1698, a pupil of Niccolò Amati. He designed and built his instruments in the Amati fashion. Andrea's two sons, who were his pupils, surpassed him in his work. They were Pietro Giovanni Guarneri, 1655–1720, who worked in Mantua and made several innovations, and Giuseppe Giovan Battista Guarneri, 1666–c.1738, who made superb violins in an original style. The son of Giuseppe Guarneri, Pietro Guarneri, 1695–1762, made his best violins in his later years, following his uncle's pattern for the most part. The greatest violinmaker of the family was Giuseppe Guarneri, 1698–1744, grandnephew of Andrea, called "del Gesù" because he signed his labels with a cross and the letters IHS. He was second only to Stradivari in the history of violinmaking. He followed the school of Brescia instead of the Amati in his designs. Giuseppe built varied models to achieve a superb tone so that his instruments are not uniform.
See W. H. Hill, The Violin-Makers of the Guarneri Family (1931).
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