Violin and Cello

Domenico Galli

Parma, 1649 - 1697

Maple, spruce, tortoise and glass, cm. 170 x 48 x 13.5; cm. 62 x 20 x 4

Inv. 2022; 2023

The Galleria Estense, Modena

Made by Domenico Galli, sculptor, decorator, calligrapher and musician who came from Parma, Violin and Cello are two exquisite and rather unusual examples of the role of the art of carving in the field of lute making. The violin, made in 1687, presents, on a small medallion on the keyboard, an inscription where the artist wrote a phrase dedicated to the duke: “ser.ma alt.za/ La mia dolcezza animata dal commando augusto di V.A.S. ardisce sperare benigno gradimento di quest’opra che figlia de di lei serenissimi co tante bocche quanti sfori mostra, ambisce pubblicare all’universo / Parma il di P.o Sett. bre 1687/di V.A.S./ Um.o Div.oet ob.oS.o/Dom.o Galli.”

The violoncello also presents and analog inscription and arrived in Modena on the 8th of September 1691, equipped with a selection of 12 pieces composed for Francesco II d’Este. The instrument is further enriched by an incision depicting various ideas, which culminate with the image of a flying dragon. In the box, on the back, the precious incision unwinds in a series of allegoric images, with Orfeo playing the lyre and lower down Hercules executing the hydra, Pallade, the lion and the Perfidia.