Guarneri, Or Guarnerius the name of a family living at Cremona in the 17th century, some of whose members are celebrated as violin makers. - Andrea, born about 1630, worked at his art from 1650 to about 1695. His instruments are mostly inscribed Andreas Guarne-rius fecit Cremonoe sub titulo Sanctoe Teresoe. He was a pupil of Nicolo Amati, whose workmanship he imitated with some slight differences of detail. The tone of his instruments is sweet but not powerful. They rank in the second class. - Giuseppe, his son and pupil, in middle life made his instruments like those of Stradivarius, and later imitated his cousin Giuseppe Antonio. - Pietro, second son of Andrea, lived at Cremona till 1700, and then at Mantua, and his violins bear the names of both these cities. He worked from 1090 to 1725, and his instruments were inferior to those of his father. - Giuseppe Antonio, nephew of Andrea, born June 8, 1683, was a pupil of Stradivarius, and the most renowned of the family. He possessed genius, but led an irregular life, much of it marked by idleness and intemperance, and a part of it spent in prison, where he died in 1745. Naturally his productions were unequal, some of them being of consummate workmanship, and others poor in material used and in method of construction.
These last belong to the later years of his life, his prison days. He worked from 1725 to 1745, and his violins were mostly inscribed "Giuseppe Guarnerius, Andreas Nepos. I. H. S." From the use of this latter symbol he was commonly known in Italy as Guarneri del Gesu. His earlier works do not show much care either in the choice of woods or the varnish. Many of those made in his middle epoch are superb, distinguished for harmony of form, beauty of color, the care with which the different woods composing the instruments were selected, and the adaptation of the curves and thickness to the production of the finest tone. To these noble instruments succeeded others inferior in all respects. Paganini and Alard were both accustomed to use Guarnerius violins at their concerts. - Violins and basses exist, dated from 1725 to 1740, made by Pietro, son of Giuseppe.