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Images from The Rawlins Gallery

Violin by Andrea Amati, Cremona, ca. 1560

Note: Click on any major structural area of the instrument to see a close-up of that area.

NMM 3366. Violin by Andrea Amati, Cremona, ca. 1560. Witten-Rawlins Collection, 1984.

This rare violin, with its long, hooked corners, is one of only fourteen instruments made by Andrea Amati (ca. 1505-1577) known to survive. Unlike the Museum's smaller Amati violin, made in 1574, this instrument is decorated with gilt paintings of fleurs-de-lis and trefoils on its back, as well as a Latin motto painted in gilt around its ribs. Some scholars believe that this motto links this violin, as well as the NMM's viola by Andrea Amati, to the court of King Phillip II of Spain.


Soundholes

soundholes

Note: Click on image above to see a larger image of the soundholes.

This violin was one of seven instruments by Andrea Amati, including the Museum's King violoncello and viola, featured in an exhibition mounted for the Ente Triennale Internazionale degli Strumenti ad Arco at the Palazzo Comunale di Cremona, October 9-18, 1982.   See: Andrea Mosconi and Laurence C. Witten, Capolavori di Andrea Amati (Cremona: Ente Triennale Internazionale degli Strumenti ad Arco, 1984), pp. 41-46 and 67.


Pegbox and Scroll Views


Front view of pegbox Back view of pegbox

Note: Click on images above to see larger images of the pegbox.

Bass side view of pegbox Treble side view of pegbox

Note: Click on images above to see larger images of the pegbox.

The scroll's volute was cut off and grafted onto a new pegbox and neck at some point, when the instrument was modernized.


Painting on Back of Violin

Painted back Fleur-de-lis below upper pin Treble upper bout trefoil Upper bass bout trefoil Fleur-de-lis in upper treble corner Fleur-de-lis in upper bass corner Fleur-de-lis in lower treble corner Fleur-de-lis in lower bass corner Lower treble bout trefoil Fleur-de-lis above lower back pin Lower bass bout trefoil

Note: Click on any painted area of the back to see a close-up of that area.

The gilt painting around the edges of the back of this violin features fleurs-de-lis and trefoils.


Motto Text on Bass Side of Violin

Bass side view

Note: Click on pegbox or the text painted on the bass ribs to see close-ups of those areas.

The letters on the bass side spell the words QVO VNICO PROPVGNACVLO ("By means of this bulwark (or fortification or battlement) . . . " [text continues on treble ribs below]).

Motto Text on Treble Side of Violin

Treble side view

Note: Click on pegbox or the text painted on the treble ribs to see close-ups of those areas.

The letters on the treble side spell the words STAT STABITQ[VE] RELI[GIO], continuing the Latin motto that began on the bass ribs (see above), ". . . religion stands and will stand." This same Latin motto is found on the Museum's Andrea Amati viola, as well as on another Andrea Amati violin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Click here to access an index of all available digital images of this instrument.

High-Quality Image (Actual Size) of this Violin Available from Luthier's Library of Violin and Viola Photographs



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Related Links

Individual Instruments

NMM 3351. Violoncello, The King, by Andrea Amati, Cremona, after 1538

NMM 3370. Viola by Andrea Amati, Cremona, ca. 1560

NMM 5260. Violin by Andrea Amati, Cremona, 1574

Comparative Views

Comparison of the Front and Back Views of Four Andrea Amati instruments

Comparison of the Treble and Bass Sides of Four Andrea Amati instruments

Comparison of the Soundholes of Four Andrea Amati instruments

Comparison of the Pegbox/Scroll Views of Four Andrea Amati instruments

Checklists

Checklist of Bowed Stringed Instruments by Andrea Amati, Cremona

Checklist of Bowed Stringed Instruments Made Before 1800

Checklist of 16th- and 17th-Century Instruments

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Pegbox, front view Front, upper bouts Upper bass corner Upper treble corner Upper bout Lower treble corner Lower bass corner Soundholes Front, lower bouts Pegbox, treble side Treble side Pegbox, bass side Letters QVO  VN Letters VNICO Letters PROPVG Letters GNACVLO Letters LO  ST Pegbox, back Back, upper bout Back, center bout Back, lower bout Upper treble corner Upper bass corner Lower treble corner Lower bass corner Center bout Upper bout Letters LO  ST Letters AT  STA Letters TABITQ Letters RELI Letters worn away Pegbox, treble side Pegbox, bass side Bass side