Support Guarneri Hall

Personal Info

Dedicate this Donation

Honoree Details

Notification Details

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Billing Details


Donation Total: $250.00

Vittorio Bellarosa, Last of the Neapolitans

Vittorio Bellarosa

Vittorio Bellarosa (1907-1978) was the last of an unbroken Neapolitan tradition of violin making that had begun in the 17th century with Alessandro Gagliano (1665-1732). Bellarosa’s work is nearly exclusively devoted to Gagliano-inspired violins. Over the years, many Bellarosa instruments have both fraudulently and mistakenly been sold as the work of various members of the Gagliano family.

Bellarosa grew up in Naples around violin-making: his father, Riccardo Bellarosa (1872-1941), was a trained violin maker who seems to have devoted his career mostly to restoration work.

In 1922, at age 15, Vittorio was sent to apprentice with the violin maker Vito Vitantonio in Rotello, 100 miles north of Naples. In 1925, Vittorio went to Mittenwald, Germany, to pursue his diploma in violin making. Six months later, he moved to Rome to work in the shop of Rodolfo Fredi, where he stayed for several years.

Bellarosa returned to Naples in the late 1920’s to establish his own shop. From the early 1930’s he began to work closely with another Neapolitan violin maker, Giovanni Pistucci (1864-1955), for whom he varnished many instruments. When Giovanni Pistucci died in 1955, Bellarosa acquired the equipment from the Pistucci workshop.

From around 1950, Vittorio Bellarosa began to label his instruments more consistently. At about that time, he also began to mark the bottom ribs of his instruments with a distinctive brand stamp depicting two sea horses. However, Bellarosa seems to have discontinued that practice from around 1954.

Vittorio Bellarosa was a prolific maker who produced very good-sounding instruments. Many of them were exported to the US and sold by large firms such as Rembert Wurlitzer in NY, William Moennig in Philadelphia, and William Lewis and Kenneth Warren and Son in Chicago. Vittorio Bellarosa died in Naples on February 26, 1978.

More pictures of Bellarosa’s work can be found here.

Share This:

Filed Under:

Upcoming Events