This illustration of a violin by Guarneri ‘del Gesù’ was published in The Strad, January 1987. The following text is extracted from the article accompanying the photographs:
The instrument most closely associated with Fritz Kreisler is the 1733 Guarneri ‘del Gesù’ now owned by the Library of Congress in Washington DC. When Kreisler donated the ‘del Gesù’ to the library in 1952, Rembert Wurlitzer wrote that the violin was ‘possibly the finest concert violin in existence’.
The Hill brothers, too, singled it out as an outstanding example in ‘The Violin Makers of the Guarneri Family’:
‘We feel, and feel strongly, that no specimen can exemplify ‘del Gesù’ in his mature years more strikingly than that dated 1733, which conceivably was made some years previous to that year. It stands on the threshold of the master’s emancipation from the past; the f-holes still reveal his indebtedness to Stradivari, but model and form are his own, timid of conception, perhaps, when contrasted with the audacity of later years, yet admirably typifying those closely knit examples which, from a tonal point of view, stand up to the greatest.’