Both the training and legacy of Gioffredo Cappa have been the focus of significant speculation since at least the 19th century, when he was assumed to have been a pupil of Nicolò Amati.
While Cappa's best works do bear Amati labels, his reliance on Amati models probably stems simply from the authority that family wielded on violin making in the late 17th century. It has also been suggested that Cappa was a student of Enrico Catenari, but recent scholars consider this lineage, too, to be improbable. Cappa's work is distinctive and shows some evolution in style.
Early on, ribs are set into the back in the style popular with Dutch and Flemish makers of the period. Later instruments show a marked Cremonese influence, especially the soft brown or red varnish, though his efforts are generally less refined than the models he worked from.
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