Giuseppe Guarneri 'del Gesù'

Violin maker
(maker: 1698 – 1744)

Giuseppe Guarneri's two sons Pietro of Venice and Giuseppe 'del Gesù' both trained with and assisted him in the 1710s, but in keeping with the individuality of the Guarneri tradition their conceptions of violin making developed along strikingly dissimilar lines. While Pietro earns respect for his deft combination of Cremonese and Venetian styles, the rich and complex tonal quality of Giuseppe's instruments distinguish him as one of the greatest violin makers in history.

His earliest known independently-produced instruments date from the 1720s, but his trademark IHS (Iesus Hominem Salvator) label did not appear until 1731. In general, 'del Gesù''s work seems influenced by the Brescian school, particularly the elongated c-bouts and f-holes. The 1730s represent the peak of his craftsmanship, especially the King Joseph of 1737, but his later instruments display the most characteristic qualities of his unique vision.

It seems Giuseppe's startling creativity and daring in design and construction more than compensated for his corresponding lack of interest in the details of workmanship, and his violins are equally as exalted as Stradivari's, though by players of divergent tastes. The two have markedly different, almost incomparable, tonal qualities: the violins of 'del Gesù' conserve sweetness but possess unsurpassed depth and darkness of sound that some players prefer. Indeed much of his posthumous fame is owed to Paganini, who counted the 1743 Cannon as his most cherished instrument.


Relevant instruments and bows found on Cozio Archive:
Cello: 1 | Small Violin: 2 | Violin: 132 | 138 other properties not displayed publicly

Name Type Year ID
'Messeas' Cello 1731 40385
'Chardon' Small Violin 1735 40421
'Fountaine' Small Violin 1740 43272
'Billotet-Guilet' Violin c. 1715-22 40680
'Folinari' Violin c. 1715-22 32443
'Möller, Moskowsky' Violin c. 1715-22 61284
'Frank, Sin, Tonhalle' Violin c. 1715-22 44918
'Rappoldi, Campbell' Violin c. 1715-22 49179
'Marteau Habisreuthinger' Violin c. 1715-22 45112
'Möller, Samsung' Violin c. 1722-26 41155
'NY Philharmonic' Violin c. 1722-26 45560
'Milstein, Herrmann, Moennig' Violin c. 1722-26 49611
'Count de Vière-Cheremetieff, Balokovic' Violin c. 1725-29 43700
'Zimmermann, Aerson' Violin c. 1725-29 44520
'Colin, Kogan' Violin 1726 40682
'Dancla, Serato' Violin c. 1726-29 40409
'Robberechts (Robrecht)' Violin 1728 44054
'Lady Streeton, Oliviera' Violin c. 1728 40126
'Corti, Tolstopiatow, Lvoff' Violin c. 1728 42441
'Kubelik, von Vecsey' Violin c. 1728 71858
'Cobbett, Downs' Violin c. 1729 60188
'Baron Heath' Violin 1729 42986
'Baron Vitta' Violin c. 1730 40391
'David, Payne' Violin c. 1730 40388
'Kreisler' Violin c. 1730 40400
'Briggs' Violin 1730 61283
'Pluvié, Champonay, Kahn' Violin c. 1730 40392
'Lord Shaftsbury' Violin c. 1730-31 47533
'Castelbarco, Haddock, Bromley Booth' Violin c. 1730-34 43676
'Baltic' Violin 1731 40410

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