Antonio Stradivari (1644 – 1737) was an Italian craftsman predominantly famous for his violins, but he also made cellos, lutes, harps, guitars, and violas.
Stradivari is considered and recognized as the greatest and most significant artisan in this specific field.
U.K. based Hills & Company violin experts are estimating that Antonio Stradivari made 1,116 instruments, and that 960 of them were violins.
They also estimate that of all Stradivari instruments, some 650 survive, including some 450 to 512 of his famous violins.
The instruments made by Stradivari are recognized as the finest and best bowed stringed instruments that were ever created. They come with high prices and are today still favored and played by the best professionals.
There’s actually just one other violin maker, Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, who has received a comparable respect among the world’s best violinists.
It is believed that Stradivari was in 1644, in Cremona, Italy, though there still exists some uncertainty about his birthplace, his childhood, and how he had managed to turn into Italy’s most skilled and famed luthier.
One thing is certain, though: Antonio Stradivari dedicated all of his life to making the perfect violin, and already during his lifetime, he had reached prominence, admiration, and recognition, which only increased since he died almost 280 years ago.