Collection "Great Italian Violinmaking" inside San Vidal Church
From “La grande Liuteria Italiana” by Artemio Versari
Giuseppe Ornati was born in Albairate, near Milan, in 1887. He learned how to use woodworking tools at home and his enthusiasm for lutherie led him to begin making plucked instruments. He moved to Milan in 1901 and initially frequented Carlo Moneta, an amateur maker, before moving on to the workshop of Leandro Bisiach in 1903. He remained in this workshop for many years and was able to study many valuable instruments first-hand. In 1915 he worked as a furniture maker in an airplane factory during the war. As he was one of Bisiach's best students, his work was always highly appreciated. He made new instruments and did restoration for Bisiach until the end of the First World War, when he decited to open his own shop. He received prizes at the violin making competition in Rome in 1920 and 1923. He also received recognition at exhibitions in Cremona 1949, Rome 1952, Ascoli Piceno 1959 and Liege 1963. He was invited to serve on the jury of several competitions. He taught at the International School of Violin Making in Cremona in 1963. He died in 1965 in Milan. Early in his career, he developed his own personal model, one inspired by Stradivari, that he used together with other models (Amati and Guadagnini). His early instruments are quite elegant. His violin making is refined and precise, and strongly influenced by the classical makers.