The history of the violin can be traced back to 1530, when a violin-like instrument first appeared in Gaudenzio Ferrari’s painting, “Madonna of the Orange Tree.” By the 1550s, Andrea Amati and his descendants began to craft priceless violins, in the form we know them today. And then followed other families closely associated with the golden age of these stringed instruments–the Bergonzi, the Guarneri, the Stradivari.
Today, luthiers like Dominique Nicosia continue the same tradition. Above you can watch Nicosia hand-craft a violin at the Musée de la lutherie et de l’archèterie françaises in northeastern France.
Shot by Baptiste Buob, the wordless documentary walks you through the making of a violin, from start to finish. A process that takes a luthier 3-4 weeks, working full-time, gets covered in 33 elegant minutes. Savor each and every one of them.
Bonus: Below, watch another film by Baptiste Buob–this one a 28-minute film detailing how French bow maker Roch Petitdemange practices his craft, again from beginning to end. A perfect complement.
And if you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!