Collection "Great Italian Violinmaking" inside San Vidal Church
Adapted from "Great Italian Violinmaking" by Artemio Versari.
Annibale Fagnola was born in 1866 in Montiglio, a village in the vicinity of Asti, he was a baker until 1888 and moved to Turin only in 1894. He admitted to working on instruments before moving to Turin, as early as 1890, and probably worked mainly on guitars. In Turin he met a lutherie enthusiast, Orazio Roggiero, who helped him develop his knowledge of the violin making tradition in Piedmont. It is more difficult to identify who taught him the rudiments of the craft, though Marengo Rinaldo seems to be the most likely candidate. In 1899 he set up his own business, though he continued to collaborate with other makers in Turin. He earned a reputation as a good copyist and made some excellent copies of Guadagnini, Pressenda and Rocca. His models based on the first two makers were among his favourites, and these copies earned him fame even beyond the local circles. When he made an instrument copy, he usually inserted two labels, his own and a facsimile of the original instrument. He also made a number of instruments using his own personal model, which were equally successful. He received recognition in exhibitions held in Genoa, Milan and Turin. He also traded antique instruments. Fagnola's economic status rose to that of well-to-do. After the First World War, he experienced an intense period of creativity, and as he had become quite famous, his instruments were in high demand. For these reasons he sought out the collaboration of his students Riccardo Genovese, Stefano Vittorio Fasciolo, his brother Marcello and his nephew Annibalotto, and perhaps even Evasio Guerra. Fagnola died in 1939.