Giovanni Paolo Maggini


Violin maker
(maker: 1580 – c. 1630)

The best known maker of the Brescian school, Giovanni Paolo Maggini was born in Botticino and moved to Brescia around 1586 to train with Gasparo da Salò. After twenty years of work for da Salò, Maggini struck out on his own and began to develop his own models. His violins are based on two unique patterns, one of which is about 35.5 cm and conforms to contemporary standards for length, and the another which is significantly larger, about 37 cm. Maggini himself seems to have preferred the larger model for its powerful sound quality, and indeed the increased length may have inspired the celebrated 'Long Pattern' violins of Antonio Stradivari. Maggini's early violas were also rather large, but he reduced them over time to what is now the standard size for a contralto viola, about 41-42 cm.

Because his labels are undated, a clear picture of the evolution of Maggini's work is elusive. In fact, dendrochronology has proven that many distinguished instruments historically attributed to him were made after his death around 1630 in the great plague that swept through northern Italy. These particular instruments are the source of much conjecture, but it is possible that they were made by an unknown follower of Maggini sometime after 1650. In spite of the speculation surrounding these later works, Maggini left behind a formidable collection of violins and violas that attest to the pivotal role of the Brescian school in early violin making.

Instruments

Relevant instruments and bows found on Cozio Archive:
Bass: 3 | Cello: 3 | Viola: 10 | Violin: 33 | 30 other properties not displayed publicly

Name Type Year ID
'Dumas' Bass 1620 42148
'Delmas' Bass c. 1620 23195
'Venturi' Bass (maker: 1580 – c. 1630) 45463
  Cello 1610 44790
'Chimay, Sandeman' Cello (maker: 1580 – c. 1630) 46542
  Cello (maker: 1580 – c. 1630) 50119
'Dumas Tenor' Viola 1600 40414
'Joyce' Viola 1600 43288
'Lillian Fuchs' Viola 1600 46273
  Viola 1600 42187
'Steinkraus' Viola 1610 47669
'Asciolla' Viola 1610 48923
  Viola c. 1620 44810
  Viola (maker: 1580 – c. 1630) 61699
  Viola (maker: 1580 – c. 1630) 59839
  Viola (maker: 1580 – c. 1630) 48513
  Violin 1600 40038
  Violin 1600 45353
  Violin 1600 45252
  Violin 1600 45344
  Violin 1600 40867
  Violin 1600 43609
'Wahl' Violin 1600 50117
  Violin 1600 44689
  Violin 1610 42226
  Violin 1615 44395
  Violin 1615 60559
  Violin 1620 60294
  Violin 1620 44831
'Bartholony' Violin 1620 40208

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