Alessandro Gagliano


The Gagliano dynasty dominated violinmaking and trading in string instruments in Naples until the mid-19th century. This family brought forth at least ten luthiers, but in-depth research on these masters’ lives has yet to be performed. Alessandro Gagliano was the first member of the house of Gagliano. His productive career lasted from 1700 to 1732. The assumption of earlier biographers that Gagliano studied with Nicolò Amati or Stradivari cannot be verified. Likewise, his instruments’ style features seem to preclude his having been trained in Cremona. Both the model he used and the details of the interior demonstrate a highly individual style. Alessandro Gagliano used a soft and translucent red to reddish-yellow varnish. His violins and, even more, his cellos (a rarity today) possess an exceptional tone and are thus highly sought after.

Two of Gagliano’s sons, Nicolò and Gennaro, continued the Neapolitan tradition of craftsmanship in making fine string instruments. Nicolò’s four sons Ferdinando, Giuseppe, Antonio and Giovanni carried on the family’s artisanal tradition until the late 18th century.