photos by Emanuele Zamponi

The catalogue of the exhibition held at the Auditorium Fondazione Cariplo in Milan pays tribute to the excellence of Italian and Cremonese violin making.

Violin making is one of the richest “métiers d’art” in terms of history, tradition and artistic and cultural value. At the same time, it is also an extraordinary industry, of which Cremona represents the highest level of expression and recognition worldwide.

The exhibition and the catalogue were developed by the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art in collaboration with the Fondazione Antonio Stradivari of Cremona and the Fondazione Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. The project was actively supported by the Violin Museum in Cremona: a unique structure, inaugurated in September 2013, with combines an auditorium, a museum, a research laboratory and a study centre.

The initiative was made possible thanks to the contribution from Vacheron Constantin, the oldest manufacture of fine watches in Geneva, which has always protected and promoted the best craftsmanship through its prestigious patronage. Intesa Sanpaolo, an institute active in the diffusion of excellence and the culture of craftsmanship, also supported the event.

Five hundred years ago, thanks to Andrea Amati violin making found its ideal habitat in Cremona. It reached its high point about two centuries later, with Antonio Stradivari, Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù and Carlo Bergonzi, and is still alive today with 155 violin-making workshops in Cremona, a tradition and concentration that is unique in the world.

Emanuele Zamponi’s photographs, taken in the master violinmakers’ ateliers in Cremona, powerfully illustrate this extraordinary artistic craft through faces, gestures, environments, lights and colours.