This was also the period when the skills of the great violin makers of Cremona in northern Italy--Stradivari, Andrea Amati
and Guiseppe Guameri del Gesu--were at their peak.
A closer inspection reveals that these instruments were made by Andrea Amati
(1566), his sons Gerolamo and Antonio (viola, 1615), grandson Niccol (1658), Giuseppe Guarneri (1689), his son Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu (1734), and Antonio Stradivari (1715).
The great luthiers of 16th to 18th century Italy -- Andrea Amati
, Antonio Stradivari, Giuseppe Guarnieri -- understood subtleties that today's makers have yet to decode.
The Cremona school was founded by Andrea Amati
in about 1560; his grandson Nicolo became the family's most eminent craftsman.
His account of Andrea Amati
ignores Laurence Witten's important article "The Surviving Instruments of Andrea Amati
" (Early Music 19 : 487-94), and he accepts uncritically the traditional "fact" that Amati made a set of thirty-eight violins for Charles IX of France (the earliest source for this information is Jean Benjamin de La Borde's Essai sur la musique ancienne et moderne [Paris, 1780]).