Girolamo Amati II, son of
Nicolo, grandson of
Girolamo, and great-grandson of
Andrea Amati, had the good
fortune to be born into the Amati family, and the bad luck to have come of age
during the most competitive era of violin-making in Italy. By the time Girolamo
II inherited the shop from his aging father Nicolo in the late 1670s, there were
at least a dozen active makers in Cremona, including such luminaries as
Andrea Guarneri, and the
young Antonio Stradivari.
By the time Nicolo died in 1684, leaving the shop entirely in the hands of
Girolamo II, Stradivari had already established himself as the new genius of
Cremona, and violin-making was expanding quickly to other cities -- especially
Milan, Venice, Mantua, Bologna, Rome and Naples.
Girolamo persevered for a number of years and produced some fine instruments,
but the relative dearth of instruments from this maker attests to his struggle
to make a living in the new, highly competitive environment. In 1697, Girolamo
left Cremona and moved to Piacenza for unknown reasons, though likely due to
legal or financial difficulties. He returned to Cremona in 1715 and remained
there until his death until 1740, but there are very few of his instruments
dated after 1700.
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