Italian family of celebrated violin makers, who lived and worked at Cremona in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Andrea, born about 1520, was the first celebrated member of the family. He was, perhaps, a pupil of one of the great violin makers of Brescia, but his violins differed greatly from those made before his time. Very few of his instruments are to be found, those preserved to being of a small pattern, with beautiful wood in amber colored varnish and of a very graceful outline.
Nicolo, his younger brother, made excellent bass viol’s and his two sons, Antonio and Geronimo, produce violins larger than their fathers and greatly improved upon his model.
The work of these brothers was very important in the development of the violin. The most noted of the six famous Amati was Geronimo’s son, Nicolo, who lived from 1596 to 1684.
In the main, he To the Amati model in making his violins, but he made many improvements, his proportions being better, his outlines more graceful and the thickness of the wood being better calculated, his instruments thus gaining greatly in power and intensity of tone.
Most of this instruments were small, but he made some large violins, called grand Amati’s. These are very high-priced.
Andrea Guarnieri and Antonio Stradivari were his pupils.
Geronimo, his son, the last of the Amati’s, was an inferior maker and did nothing to increase the fame of the family.