Giuseppe Antonio Rocca
(1807 – 1865)
Born in Barbaresco, Giuseppe Antonio (or Joseph) Rocca moved to Turin in 1834 to work in the shop of Giovanni Francesco Pressenda. After three years, he opened his own shop, and although his work ranks among the best of 18th century Italian violin making, his life was marked by financial struggles, illness and grief.
...Read More />Rocca initially followed the work of his teacher, albeit with stylistic aberrations that suggest a budding interest in Cremonese models. This affinity was further encouraged when Rocca met the violin dealer Luigi Tarisio around 1842, presumably through the Pressenda workshop, and laid eyes on Tarisio's collection of Cremonese masterpieces, including the 'Messiah' Stradivari. Rocca thereafter employed Stradivari and Guarneri 'del Gesù' models exclusively, with some modifications. He continued to rely on Pressenda models for his cellos and violas until later in his career. The quality of materials and varnish varied considerably with the state of Rocca's financial well-being, as do the labels and brands. After over a decade of travel between Turin and Genoa, he settled in Genoa in 1863 and met a tragic and untimely death two years later.
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