Antonio Stradivari (c.1644–1737) – or Stradivarius as he is usually known – is the only maker of musical instruments whose name ranks alongside those of the great composers. For the first time will twenty of his instruments, from guitar to cello to violin, be on display together in the UK.
While the details of his life are not as familiar as those of Vivaldi or Mozart, his name succeeds in evoking a creative genius in the popular imagination. The Ashmolean’s summer 2013 exhibition will feature twenty of the world’s most important musical instruments, some of which have never been shown in public, on loan from international collections: from the early Silvestre violin of 1666, to the Fountaine violino piccolo, the Boissier-Sarasate of 1713, to his later violins of the 1730s. It will also show a recreation of Stradivarius’s workshop where visitors will be able to follow the creation of a violin from a log of spruce through to the finished instrument.
Galleries 57, 59 & 60
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