Andrea Amati is said to be the founder of what is called the Cremona school of violin making. He was born around 1520 and died in 1578, perhaps earlier and maybe later – only God knows. His earliest known violins date from about 1564. Amati is unfairly credited with the basic design of the modern violin since Gaspar Da Salo lived around the same time and built them the same way. Andreas’ sons were Antonio and Geronimus. Nicolo Amati (Andrea’s grandson) was Geronimus’ son and Girolamo was Nicolo’s son. It is said that Andrea Guarneri (1698-1744) and Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) studied with either Girolamo (1649-1740) or Nicolo Amati. There is no evidence to prove such a claim though. They had to apprentice with someone - you don't learn to do this stuff by yourself - we just don't know who. The Amati shown here is from 1574. If you want to see it in a slightly larger size, just click on it.