First, let’s look at one of the most significant schools:
Brescia is the first and the oldest school.
In fact, violin making was founded on the base of this school. Violins in Brescian style were built outside the walls of the Etruscan town as well. Let’s remember Mariani, Persaro, Obici and the others.
Gaspar da Saló was the founder and main supporter of the school, together with his successor, Maggini.
J. B. Roger was one of the most important masters, who was a student of Nikolaus Amati, together with Stradivarius.
Later he returned to his homeland, however, yet he belongs to the Brescian school.
He was the one who introduced the style of Cremona in Brescia and he remained loyal to it all his life.
Most of these musical instruments give the impression of immaturity to those who are not professional in violin making. We find the f-holes too fat. Of course, it is not because they are really fat, but because we find the baroque f-holes of Stainer and those of Stradivari, which were constructed with nice forms, are aesthetically more pleasing. Most of the time, their marquetries had double purfling.
The silky reddish brown varnish was later replaced by a lighter one. Their snails seem slightly primitive and half of their third twists often disappear.
Their f-holes, which had strict, rigid lines, had one more characteristics worth mentioning, namely, that the upper points of the f-holes were more open than the lower ones, which does not match our perception of beauty today. This has changed later. They had varnish with high transparency.
We can meet flat and high, steep and normally decreasing tops as well.
The same applies to their corners, which have no strong positive curvature by the two great masters, moreover, in case of Maggini, they are slightly shorter as well. No years are written on their labels, and if they were not removed from their original position, they can mostly be found inside, at the back joint. It can be stated without any exaggeration that the richest variations can be provided by the violins from the school of Brescia. A lot of violin makers are still inspired by the forms of Brescian violins.
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