In Focus: An 1847 violin by Agustí Altimira
Jordi Pinto details an instrument by the Catalan violin maker
In the 18th century, Spanish luthiers were heavily influenced by their Italian counterparts, but in the 19th the style became more influenced by the French makers who settled in Madrid and Barcelona. This is the case with the Catalan violin maker Agustí Altimira. Born in Barcelona, he began his apprenticeship with his mentor and neighbour Joan Matabosch, and was later trained by the Mirecourt luthier Étienne Maire Breton, who established a workshop in Barcelona in the mid-19th century and worked there for some decades before returning to France.
Altimira had his workshop in the Calle Escudellers, where the Guillami family and makers such as Salvador Bofill and Josep Massaguer worked in the 18th century. Altimira’s workshop, along with that of the España family, was one of the most important in Barcelona at the time. He made a good number of violins, violas and cellos, and his double basses are still admired for their quality and deep, rich sound…