Knowledge Exchange – Violin 2024 RETURN TO GENOVA

Posted on June 9th, 2024 by

Press attention to the project here in Genova

The adventure continues
Filming with luthier Alberto Giordano Malene Sheppard Skaerved (who took the photo ) & Immo Horn 11 6 24

I am back in Genoa! It has been so long since I was last here, and the return has given me so much to think about. I am here with Malene Sheppard Skaerved (Collaborator and Director), and cameraman Immo Horn, to film and record (and then give a concert) on one of the two

First meeting with Il Cannone. June 2005. Genoa Photo: Anna Rita Certo

important violins which the property of the Commune de Genova. Both of these, of course, are to do with Niccolo Paganini, and one of them, as every violinist knows is his astonishing del Gesù  ‘Il Cannone’. 19 years ago, almost to the day, I arrived in Genoa. In the picture on the right, I had just got off the plane from London, and met the team at the Palazzo Tursi, where that violin lives. As you can see it was a sweltering hot day, and in some ways, I was in uncharted territory. I spent the next two days exploring this great violin, prior playing it in London the following year, the first time that it had been heard there since Paganini’s last farewell in 1834.

I think, if I am honest, that this is the first time that I really started to think about what it might be that a violin could teach me: the many histories of this instrument, combined with its amazing sound, challenged my preconceptions of what and instrument was, is,  should be and what my responsibility to it should be. It set me on a journey of personal enquiry and small discoveries, and this project is one of the outcomes of/on that continuing journey.

But I need to back up a little: I am writing this at the kitchen table of a lovely apartment on the 6th floor overlooking the apse and East end of the astonishing church of Santa Maria delle Vigne. The east end is mainly 14th century, the dome and cupola, (over my right shoulder) 16th century, and the campanile, 12th century – pure Romanesque, with, at this time in the evening, screeching Swifts/Apodidae wheeling around it. Like everything about this astonishing this city, it is one layer piled up on another: early renaissance foundations, which have been been bu

Looking up into the 16th century dome and cupola of Santa Maria delle Vigne. Genova ( under my window) 9 6 24

ilt on and on, and on, until the city is like a series of canyons, with the sky rarely visible at street level, with gimcrack stone alleys between the blocks, which suddenly lead the unexpected walker to  a glorious palazzo, or a charming piazza,  a place where the loudest noise is the hum of conversation during the hour of passiegata or the cries of the gulls. There’s no one right way through the many labyrinths, but every time you get lost, it is a delight. I hope, that it is not difficult to see how that might relate to the questions and explorations which excite and inspire this violinist. And of course, things are gained and lost with change. The reason for the name of the basilica church beneath me ‘delle Vigne’,  is that where the church was first built in at the beginning of the last millennium, was a hillside of vines: there’s not a leaf, not a tree to be seen anywhere in the centre of this nonetheless, magical city.

But Genoa is also full of musicians and music. This is the city where Antonio Stradella was murdered in 1682, in the Piazza Banchi ( 300 yards from here) and where Paganini and his one true pupil, were born and began to build their renown.

And, for this trip, the first of two, Sivori, or rather his violin, is the office and devotion of my view. His story of why is well known to string players, but bears repeating, and it brings me to the fabric, the grist of this trip: another violin of Paganini’s…

Where to begin. Ernesto Camillo Sivori (1817 – 1894) was born, according to his mother’s account, prematurely on account of Paganini. According to a biography/publicity puff published in 1845:

‘.. his mother, notwithstanding the delicacy of her condition, was induced to go to a concert given by Paganini at the Teatro San Augostino in Genoa; where the performance of the great master produced such an effect on her mind and nerves as to precipitate her accouchement so the young Sivori came into the world somewhat before his time.’ (Camillo Sivor, A sketch of his Life Talent Travels, E James, London 1845)

By the age of 18 months, it seems the baby was set upon becoming a violinist, and, at the age of six, he was taken to play for Paganini, who said:

‘Leave the child to my teaching for a short time, and I will truly tell you whether his time would not be thrown away in studying the violin.'(Ibid.)

So Sivori become Paganinis (almost) only student: there is the story of an orchestral cellist, Ciandelli, whose playing he transformed. To leap the the end of the story, shortly before he died in 1840 according to the over-excitable ‘E. James’ quoted earlier, Paganini handed him an instrument:

‘I will not sell you this instrument, but will present it to you in compliment to your high talent.’

This is the violin that we are here to explore: it, and is story are more complex and exciting, than this bald recitation of the facts so far may suggest. However, 54 years after that gift, Sivori, still playing, and even recording (as has recently become clear) died: his airs, mindful of the history of the violin donated this violin to the city of Genova, to the so-called Strada Nuovo, so that it might be displayed with Paganini’s Cannone. This is the violin I am here to play and explore,  and I need to explain why it is so exciting. But first, here is Sivori during a late 19th century salon performance. Nothing about his character, physiognomy or build reflected his teacher in any way. But his playing…

Camillo Sivori’in una “Soirée” a_Genova.’ From an 1893 edition of L’illustrazione popolare, Fratelli Treves Editori 1893

So: here’s the story as to why the violin was/is so exciting, so important. I will begin with Paganini’s famous last words to his beloved student, in 1840:

‘You will be the only survivor of my manner. Go to Paris, study there – there all great artists beget their reputations – Got to Paris. After Paris, you require no more!”

I am sure that Sivori, who was noted for his ‘kind and generous heart’ (The Study of the Violin – Paul Stoeving 1897), did not correct his dying master: the truth was, whilst Paganini did not arrive in Paris until 1831, the very young Sivori had actually made his successful debut there, aged just nine years old, in 1824. His uncle, Nicolo, who was chaperoning him, had written back to this father, Alexander:

‘The concert finished. Camillo caused the greatest furore, even greater than in London. The leading professos of Paris were there, and applauded him , kissed him, and kissed him all over again, and at every final cadence that he played the roar of approval made the feelings of the whole audience clear.’

Nothing that the little Camillo would have possible done would have prepared the French Capital for the impact of his master, seven years later. That is still being felt today.

On his first visit to Paris, Paganini met the greatest of all French luthiers, Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, and like every musician who met him admired his craftsmanship and knowledge. Most importantly, he trusted him. In November 1833, he brought his great del Gesù to him. In 1896, in an obituary for Sivori, Madame Jullien, opined that this was because the violin had been damaged falling from a carriage: but most likely he wanted routine maintenance. However Vuillaume jad a trick up his sleeve: it should be remembered that Vuillaume was an accomplished, well, forger. Indeed, some of his instrumental forgeries were so successful that, in at leas one case, they were not uncovered until the 21st century (the so-called ‘Dumas’ Maggini – that – is – not – a Maggini is a case in point). In 1940, Franz Farga told the following story:

‘[…] Sivori once played to the Paris violin-maker Vuillaume on a Stainer. Vuillaume was enthusiastic, and said that the tone of the instrument had charmed him greatly. But Vuillaume was a brilliant imitator […] after Sivori’s instrument, so the story goes, he dissected, in the presence of some friends, an Amati violin of a similar pattern to the Stainer and ‘discovered’ a label with the words ‘Stainer; insider the body under the place where the note was glued in […] Stainer made a copy of the Stainer which Sivori had asked him to repair, and fitted it with an Amatic label, as well as the Stainer label under the neck.'(Franz Farga, Violins and Violinists)

Well, you’ve guessed it, not being content to simply repair Paganini’s violin, il Cannone, Vuillaume made such a beautiful copy that Paganini, (apparently initially unable to distinguish between the two) was so enthusiastic that he asked to buy it, to which the maker responded that, no, he wanted to give it to him as a mark of his esteem. Some less than commentators have noted that he was flatted by Paganini’s offer to play it in public, that he refused the money. However, it is interesting that Paganini’s deathbed words, gifting the instrument to his sole pupil, mirrored the words of Vuillaume.

The actual truth is another instance of facts belying Paganini’s completely unearned reputation for tightfistedness (which often smacked of Northern European racism. Seven years after the violin was given him, Paganini’s lawyer and lifelong friend and confidant, Guiglermo Germi, suggested to him that he should give the instrument to Sivori. Paganini acceded to the suggestion with one proviso – he told Germi to send 500 Francs, as he wanted to assure Vuillaume of his admiration and friendship. This was the violin which, from this point onwards, was the most treasured performing instrument of Sivori.

Three years after Paganini’s death, Sivori finally took his advice, and went (returned) to Paris.  It was an extraordinary homecoming for the violin – here’s a report:

‘Sivori knocked at the door of the Conservatoire and showed Paganini’s violin, the violin which his master had left him as to the most worthy. Open your gates, make room for the relics of the prince of violinists! M. Sivori played. Paganini’s instrument has not been disgraced in his hands. It quivered beneath his bow, as in the days of the illustrious artist. It did not feel astonished at the correctness of its intonation: it deceased owner had instructed it too well.’ (Messager – Ed. Thierry 1843)

Instructed it too well … that’s one of the things which I chase after. In the years since I first played Paganini’s violin, I got to know the violins (and bows) of Joseph Joachim, Fritz Kreisler, Ole Bull, Giovanni Battista Viotti, Mischa Elman, and more. And I came to understand that they were each ‘instructing’ me. I have no evidence for this, but I recognised what what that critic was talking about, and seek it out.

Tomorrow, I pick up and play, for the first time Camillo Sivori’s violin, which was Paganini’s violin, which was made in direct imitation of a great Cremonese instrument, by the greatest of all French makers. I have no idea what will happen, for instance, when I bring Sivori’s Caprices to the violin which inspired them. It will be a surprise: I expect to learn a lot … and it will all  be on camera!

En route to the violin in the photo – right now! I discovered this Sivori caprice in the wonderful Eliza Wesley album in the British Museum. It was not published in Sivori’s lifetime, but it far from unknown: it was something which he tended to write into the visitors books of the salons at which he performed in his long career: there’s a slightly more elaborate version to be found in the Berlin Staatsbibliothek. Things to note: it is entirely based on the hand position (extended) that begins his teacher Paganini’s 1st Caprice – and obviously, he couldn’t help showing of his staccato, with the huge cascade down from high C# which ends the piece.

Sivori’s 12 Caprices Op 25 are, like so many similar etude cycles by his contemporaries,  a window into his approach to the instrument. From their content and style, they would seem to be mid-century pieces, when he was mid-career, although there is no clear date of composition. In the past two months, I have spent days working my way into this pieces: what does that mean, and what does that do?

The answer is that that, wittingly or not, a set such as this, in offering a cross-section of the musical and technical priorities of a performer/composer, also gives me the chance to  let them shape me, into their mould. I am aware that this approach is somewhat at an angle to the way that ‘studies’ are used pedagogically today. To cut a long story short, during the 20th century an approach became dominant, that that prescribed individuated pieces (nearly always from cycles – Kreutzer, Rode, Dont, Mazas) as salves for specific technical problems or desired stylistic outcomes. Pieces which were seen as being ‘caprices’ were used for specific technical display or challenges (ie. not to fix a problem, but as aspirational objects in themselves). The result, in both particulars, was a bifurcation between works used ‘on stage’ and those for the practice room, which would be quite alien to the early 19th century string players who evolved and composed them.xm Here’s an example of a Kreutzer Caprice ou Etude, which simple though it is, is a very effective little concert ‘prelude’ very close in its affect to the works of the late 17th century (Torelli, Matteis, etc.)

I have come to realise two things about such cycles of works. First of all, careful, imaginative exploration of complete cycles offers me the chance to get into the mindset, the handset, the psychology and yes, the physiology of a player of the past, to effectively become them. And secondly, and this is where today is exciting, I have many experiences of the relationship between the instrument of a great player and the works that they wrote  for, on, and with that instrument.

The instrument teaches me about the music written for it. The music teaches ma about the instrument. That is what I hoping to happen today, with Sivori’s violin and his Caprices.

10th June – Palazzo Rosso

The beautiful back of the wonderful 1833-4 ‘Sivori’ Vuillaume violin. Genova 10 6 24

What an extraordinary day! Let begin with music – Evis Sammoutis’ brand brand new ‘Klepshydra’ (Water Clock/Water thief)  on the glorious 1833-4 Sivori violin. The last thing I filmed at the end of this wonderful day!

First encounter with a great violin. The 1833-4 ‘Sivori’ Vuillaume. There is no reason to have a shoulder rest. It locks the violin in one position relative to you, prevents the back from vibrating freely (and often damages it). On a violin which this rib profile I need neither shoulder nor chin rest – and I have a long neck. As you an see here the violin rests on the clavicle with space underneath. Always supported lightly by the left hand. which should never grip. I was playing early, classical, and Paganini, Sivori, and new music today. And the violin was light as a feather

Today was the very first time that I found the ‘Sivori’ Vuillaume violin in my hands. I didn’t know what to expect and also knew that almost the first notes that I would play on the instrument would be on camera. This is one of the inspiring aspects of working with precious museum instruments: my time with them is limited – I have to allow them to teach me, and, how to get out of the way, as much and as fast as possible. In the case of this violin, it had so much to tell me, and it proved to be one of the most eloquent instruments that I have had in my hand.

I will return to the instrument. Malene, Immo and I spent the morning interviewing. First of all, I spoke with the luthier Alberto Giordano. in 2005, it was Alberto who first handed me the ‘Cannone’ violin, over the other side of the Nuova Strada, in the Palazzo Tursi, where they both live. As well as being a great maker, Alberto is one of the guardians of the Paganini instuments, and has a unique insight into their construction and legacy.

But I wanted his maker’s insight into the construction, and story of the ‘Sivori’. I won’t transcribe the interview here. However, certain salient moments  stick out, particularly those which proved to couterpoint themes and ideas in the Palazzo Rosso.

First of all, the subject of copying. The moment that I had the violin in my hands, and most particularly, when I saw the back, any idea that Vuillaume was making an exact copy, or that the violin could have fooled Paganini evaporated. Like the ‘Cannone’, this violin has a two piece back, but it was immediately clear that Vuillaume wanted to put his own stamp on the Guarnerius model and to  amplify aspects which were of concern to him. Putting it straight, the back had something of Stradivari. Alberto feels that, the work that Vuillaume was doing, in the 1830s, to develop and model the Amati-Stradivari line and model meant that it was inevitable that the clarity of form, the discipline of line, which are features of Stradivari’s mature work, would sing out here.

Alberto drew attention to the beauty of Vuillaume’s preparation of the wood, how he had laid the ‘ground’ which draws out the natural features, such as the rippling flame of the two-piece back. The light in the Palazzo offered an ideal way to observe and film how this flame shifts and flickers in changing light, amplified by the perfection of the ground. As we were surrounded  by great paintings, how this linked to the work of artists naturally came, up, in particular the similarity between materials available to and used by artists and artisans, city to city.

Malene Sheppard Skaerved and Immo Horn interview/film curator Martina Panizzut in the Palazzo Rosso – in the company of two great paintings by Van Dyck 10 6 24

Malene then interviewed Martina Panizzut, the very young and very impressive curator of the museums of the ‘New Street’. As this project has grown and developed, Malene has built an ongoing dialogue with many of our collaborators – she has a particular ability to get to the heart of what is personally important to an artist, an ecologist, a curator, to ferret out the interweave between who they are, and what they do. And so it proved here.

Martina picked up on the topic of the question of how artists lay the ground. She took Malene over to the foot of the Van Dyck equestrian portrait which ca can be seen to the left.

‘If you look here, you can see that, because of the way that the artist has laid the ground, and the way that reflects and refracts the light, it was possible that he only needed to add the lightest, almost impressionist detail to give the impression of complexity and modelling. the ground and the light do the rest.’

The link between this and the subtlety of the the luthier’s work in the same particular, suddenly sang out. Malene writes:

‘I was surprised that someone so accomplished and confident was as young as Marina. The palace is filled with Dutch and Flemish art, which is her expertise: this had always been her passion, and makes her perfect for her job. I loved her passion. She liked the playful nature of the pieces , and in particular drew attention to the frescoes – the fact that the ceiling turned from paintings to sculptures (a painting of a body will have a sculpted leg). She has a love of  space and nature, which she felt was her true homage to Genoa and living as a Genovese. She sees the works from the artist perspective, not only only in what what they are aiming to reveal, but what they reveal by accident:  that their personae and personalities bleed into the subject matter. An inspiration.’ MSS 11 6 24

A trompe l’oeil doorway in the 17th century frescoes at the Palazzo Rosso

Martina pointed out something about Genova and the Genovese: we were talking about this doorway, painted into the side of one of the salons.

‘The people of this city are always looking for space and for light. Of course this was the inevitable, as the town was built of the side of a hill, between the sea and the mountains. So the buildings had to go up, looking for space. We should not be surprised that, again and again the decoration of the palaces offer imaginary, wished spaces, like this door. It also explains the international outlook. ‘

Malene stepped in:

‘It reminds me of Bergen, another town between the mountains and the sea.  No wonder the people from here were great travellers.’

Here we are, in the city of Columbus, of Paganini…

After the morning of exploration and discussion, we spent the afternoon introducing and filming music from 1600 to 2024 on the wonderful Vuilaume. Here’s the full slate of pieces – and we selected specific spots and pictures fo provide counterpoint to the music and instruments.

Biagio Marini – Capriccio  a modo di Lira,  Giuseppe Torelli, Nicola Matteis, Giuseppe Tartini – E minor Sonata Piccola. Rodolphe Kreutzer – 2 Capricci, Camillo Sivori – 2 Capricci, Nicolò Paganini – Prelude,Michael Alec Rose  – Music for Genova ‘La Superba’ & ‘The Unvarnish’d Truth’ (Dedicated to the City of Genova) 2024,Evis Sammoutis  – Klepshydra 2024 (World Premiere)

Michael Alec Rose’s response the the challenge of the instruments and culture of the Genova, is, as ever, rich. The piece which was particularly inspired by the ‘Sivori’ (above)  proved to be perfectly fitted for the delicate lyricism of this wonderful instrument. It ends with a particularly watery spray of harmonics – on the manuscript, a homunculus francally holding a violin over his head sinks into the waves which represent the bowing effect, shouting:


Tuesday 11 th June

Filming with violinmaker Alberto Giordano. Genova 11th June 2024

In the morning, we walked the few steps from our rented apartment over the church of S. Maria delle Vigne to Piazza Garibaldi, to visit the atelier of the violinmaker and thinker Alberto Giordano.

Alberto’s workshop has a somewhat Tardis-like quality. You enter through a very elegant, but extremely narrow shopfront, and then through the counter, which also functions as a gate to the back to the space – then up the narrowest of staircases, to the immaculate workshop space, which is three times the floor area of the shop – then, if you keep going, through an anticlockwise passageway, you come to a most elegant room, part museum, part salon, filled with fascinating instruments (of which more to follow).

When I first visited this workshop, in 2005, Alberto showed me a copy of Paganini’s del Gesù violin, ‘Il Cannone’. That, as it turned out, would be the first of many. When I

The violin maker’s bench. Atelier Alberto Giordano Genova. Photo Malene Sheppard Skaerved

asked how many he has made since, he answered ’52’. It’s important to stress, that these are not copies as such, just as ‘Sivori’ Vuillaume is not a copy of ‘Il Cannone’.  However, in the interview which we then filmed at the bench, it became clear that the careful scrutiny of this instrument offers a contemporary maker food for thought: and curiously, the more painstaking the enquiry into the original instrument, the greater freedom it offers the living maker for innovation and creativity today.

In addition to the wonderful insights about the maker’s world which Alberto offered, there was also the chance to explore his extraordinary collection of Genovese instruments. On of these raised a question which is very important to Knowledge Exchange violin the question of Time.

Alberto showed us a simple late 18th century ‘coffin’ case, made of wood. The outside of the box was painted, ‘marbled’ – oddly echoing some of the trompe-l’oeil stonework in the Palazzo Rosso a few steps away. It also provided a slightly more

Viola, Bow and case by Paolo Castello, Genova
(c. 1740 – 1817)

distant echo – of the painted case of the 19th century Hardanger Violin in the Schubert Club museum, on which I was filming just a few months ago. When Alberto opened the box, the reason for his excitement became clear.

Inside was a late 18th violin, circa 1778, exactly as it would have been sold, with a bow, in immaculate condition. The maker, Paolo Castello was a self-taught luthier who worked in the city (which has an important violinmaking tradition). And this is the way that he would have sold a viola, in a simple, but elegantly presented case, with a  padded interior and a bow. Thought had clearly been given to presentation – green ribbon had been used for the tab for the rosin/strings box at the end of the case, and for the (now broken) strap to prevent the lid opening fully. Ribbons were central, of course to 19th century fashion, but I was reminded of the beauty of the ribbon bookmarks in contemporaneous books – one of the small pleasures if you, like me, have have been collecting leather bound, dusty volumes from the 17th and 18th centuries, all your life.

But as soon as Alberto lifted viola from the box, other resonances filled the room. He told the story of how he came to have it – which is directly relevant to our question – Time? or rather, the desired effects of time:

‘So someone told me about this instrument, and said – well we have a very old viola case and bow, but the instrument ; it’s not original. Well, as soon as I opened the box I could see that it was, and also, the reason that the owner had thought that it was not. As you can see, it ‘looks new’. I suspect that the person that it was made for, died, and the family did not hand on, or sell the viola to another player, but just put it in a cupboard: where nothing happened to it. And, as you can see, if looks as if nothing has happened to it. That’s why they did not believe it could be old.’

And he was right: whilst the instrument bears all the hallmarks of Castello’s good, sturdy autodiktat  making – with his characteristically noble sound holes – it looks as it was made in the last 30 or 40 years. There is no a scratch, bump, or wear to be seen. Naturally my thoughts wondered to more famous violin, la Messie  Stradivari , which has courted controversy for similar reasons. The problem is patina: to cut to the chase, much of the western understanding and love of objects from the past is tied up with aesthetics of the marks of their use. In the case of musical instruments, these marks will include scratches and bumps, and of course, the often pleasing shapes and colours that result from the rubbing away of varnish and ground – erosion. Ironically, this aesthetic is equally tied up with the sedimentary: with paintings this can be the beauty resulting from centuries of varnish and candle smoke, on a violin, the build up of rosin and dirt, and more human secretions.  The controversy around the cleaning of much-loved works of art (think of the Sistine Chapel) is intimately wound up with this  love for the antique. On a more specious level, in the world of musical instruments, this can lead to international disagreements as to shininess! In general, American string players love to have the violins cleaned to a high polish, and we Europeans are repelled by it.

And Alberto was about to confront the question with his personal response to Paganini’s del Gesù, on which I would perform later that night. In the two decades since we first met  in the city, and began our conversations, Alberto has made made violins in counterpoint with Paganini’s Il Cannone.  It is fair to say that he has become vital to the dialectic which began with Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume’s encounter in 1833. The very first time that I met him, and visited his workshop in

Violin by Albert Giordano, after ‘Il Cannone’ (ex Philippe Borer) Genova 2024

2005, he handed me one of his first versions/answers to the del Gesù. I remember being very struck at the the time that. at first sight, it did not look like its model – because most of the what we recognise visually with this instrument, from the seal of the city of Genoa on the back of the scroll, to the darkening varnish on the table, was the result of what happened  to the instrument after it was made.

On this visit, he showed me a more recent violin, also in conversation with del Gesù. Here it is – like the first, he has eschewed any semblance of antiquing, of weathering. The conversation shifted to history, and I reminded him that in the late 1820s, Vuillaume wrote, frustrated, that, whilst he wanted to make modern instruments, with a clean, pure aesthetic, he was unable to sell instruments unless they looked as if they were old.

Here is the violin which Alberto showed me: this is not a new violin – he made it for the violinist and humanist, Philippe Borer, who was a true philosopher of the violin, and a great authority on Paganini. I never met Philippe in person, but thanks to Gwendolyn Masin, gave presentations about Paganini with him, on ‘The Exhale’, the visionary online retreat/platform she ran during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Philippe died in 2023, and left his violin to its maker. Alberto said to me, touchingly:

‘The violin has been in mourning for a whole year. Now I want you to perform on it, in the concert tonight, so that it can come back to life.’

This was a huge honour, and the violin is wonderful – I played exclusively early music on it in the concert later at the Palazzo Rosso, and it is a window into the past and the future.

Back when I first met Alberto in 2005, he gave me some fascinating writing about the question of il Cannone and the issues of ‘Orginals, Models, Copies’ (the title of the publication in which his essay appeared. It is very relevant to the question today:

“For we makers the Cannon represents instinctive creativity and a free, expressive strength, that seems almost violent and chaotic, all seen through our understanding of the great tradition. The Cannon is the true test for the maker who does no want only to reproduce every single detail but also the patina of age that surrounds it. There are instruments that lend themselves perfectly to being copied in every detail, resulting in extremely fine modern copies. The current condition of the original instrument is an important factor in creating a copy  since, for example, where varnish has been rubbed away the results in the modern copy will be more convincing derive from the original in its present condition. The difficulty is increased in the case of the Cannon, since it enforced segregations that has now lasted a century and a half has preserved much more of its original condition. That stunning varnish on a velvety ground, that rough sculpting of the form, seem to look back at us with a mocking stare” (Copies and models of the Cannone in Italy, Alberto Giordano, in Originali, Modelli e Copie, Cremona 2001)