Collection "Great Italian Violinmaking" inside San Vidal Church
From “La grande Liuteria Italiana” by Artemio Versari
Stefano Scarampella, son of Paolo and brother of Giuseppe, was born in 1843 in Sant'Alessandro, near Brescia. Though he initially worked as a carpenter, he developed a passion for violin making. In 1886 he moved to Mantua. In his early years, he continued to work as a carpenter and made instruments in his free time. It was only in 1890 that he began working exclusively as a luthier, making instruments inspired by his brother's style. When Giuseppe died in 1902, Stefano inherited the workshop tools and his style improved. Due to health problems on the aftermath of the First World War, his work became heavy in appearance. In 1919 he welcomed Gaetano Gadda into the workshop, and in 1924 he drew up a contract in which he bequeathed all workshop material to Gadda. Scarampella died in 1925.
He was an extraordinarily creative luthier. His Production is inconsistent in that the workmanship varies according to the commissioner and the materials used. His instruments, however, reveal an uncommon virtuosity and an astonishing expressiveness. They were highly sought out, even before his death, and widely copied. Though he embarked on his career at an advanced age, his production was considerable. His favourite models were Guarneri and the Mantuan classics (Dallaglio and Balestrieri). He mainly used two models, one of which was large.