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Reference Library Articles

Violin by Matteo Gofriller

John Dilworth writes:

This violin, a very distinctive and characteristic work by Matteo Gofriller of Venice, carries a label of Carlo Bergonzi. This is a surprisingly common occurrence, and the practice of relabelling Gofriller’s work as the better known Cremonese may well be attributable to Luigi Tarisio, the legendary violin nineteenth century collector. Several noble Gofriller cellos have in the past been attributed to Bergonzi, thereby cheating the Venetian of his deserved reputation. This violin, in contrast to the great cellos, is made on a proportionally slightly small scale, but its appearance is striking. The back is spectacular, with strong, narrow flame rising from the centre line, enhanced by the ruby red varnish perfected by Gofriller and passed on to generations of Venetian makers. Gofriller made violins in various models influenced by his Cremonese contemporaries, and this would originally have been rather Amati- like, with its rounded outline and full arch, but the soundholes have been recut by a later hand into a Guarnerian form.  The head has been substituted for a piece by J.B.Rogeri, a very fine and representative example, but not unfortunately original to this violin.

A Very Fine Italian Violin by Matteo Goffriller, Venice circa 1710