Pietro Giovanni Mantegazza
Pietro Giovanni Mantegazza was born around 1730 in the Italian city of Milan, home to many great violinmakers including Mantegazza’s teacher, the esteemed Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi. Mantegazza worked for Landolfi in his youth, and began placing his own label in instruments in 1757 (though they still listed Landolfi’s address).
Mantegazza created his own workshop in 1761, the same year he was married. His two sons Francesco and Carlo would later join him in the workshop, one which would become the most prominent violin shop of its time in Milan. Mantegazza was extremely active in repair work and had a strong relationship with Count Cozio di Salabue, the famous violin connoisseur. Cozio relied on the Mantegazzas for repair of the important classic instruments in his collection.
Pietro Mantegazza initially built instruments on models influenced by Landolfi’s, but he would leave his teacher’s model behind and lead a movement back toward those of classical Italian makers like Amati and Stradivari. Mantegazza was no doubt urged in this direction by Count Cozio, as was Cozio’s other trusted luthier J. B. Guadagnini, but Mantegazza was clearly more receptive to the suggestion.
We offer a robust-sounding Mantegazza from circa 1782. Though the model shows the influence of Landolfi, there is a clear move toward a more Stradivarian approach. Interestingly, dendrochronology of the wood shows a strong relationship with wood used by Andrea Amati in Cremona two centuries prior, suggesting that Mantegazza had access to stock passed down through generations. An exciting and important example of fine 18th century Milanese making.