Tartini, violin virtuoso and composer, theorist, and pedagogue of world renown, nicknamed “maestro delle nazioni”, master of nations.
In many ways, we can say that his work, whether music, composing or teaching, has lit the way for many and it still does today.
When he went to Padova to study to become a priest in order to please his father and keep his allowance, he met a girl, a girl two years older than himself and o f a lower class. They allegedly got married in secret and eloped. You can imagine that caused quite a stir.
I showed his rebellion with the direction of the lines: In the background, the lines run vertically, and his face is depicted in horizontal lines, as he was not afraid to go in the opposite direction from everyone else.
Although magpies are better known for deception and cunning, they are in fact a symbol of exceptional intelligence and wit. I find the symbolism of a magpie very fitting to the idea of Tartini’s character.
In my short course of getting to know him, his choices, successes, efforts and life goals have a feeling of effortlessness and calmness to them. Suggesting intelligence in taking life seriously, but having fun while doing it.
J.J. de Lalande, scientist and encyclopedist of the time named him “the first violinist of Europe”, a very envious title indeed.
Also, there aren’t many images of his likeness, suggesting the reluctance of having his image preserved. Very mysterious indeed. On the illustration we can see one of his famous profiles drawn out with the stave.
With the three dancing devils I wanted to portray the feeling he must have felt when the devil visited his dream and inspired him to write one of his best works. I wanted them to have a lot of movement and elegance, but also power, just like the Devil’s Trill sonata.
Each of the three violins carry a piece of Tartini’s life. The instrument itself is the illustration of the actual real violin that is held in Tartini House.
His father was a salt scribe and this reputable position brought wealth to the Tartini family, thus allowing Giuseppe to lead the life that he did. The first violin is encrusted in salt crystals and seashells.
Supposedly he loved chocolate, a great luxury at the time. For that, the second violin is surrounded by cocoa pods, leaves and flowers.
One night supposedly, the devil himself came to his dream and tartini had asked him to play something on his violin. The sound was so mesmerizing that Tartini, immediately when he woked tried to write down the music, but couldn’t reach the perfection of the devil’s play. In rage he almost destroyed his valued instrument. Still, he produced one of his best works that night, the devils trill sonata.
I love wordplay. Also, how often do you see an olive or a strawberry looking back at you?
There is a possibility that the family name Tartini derived from “tre tini”, three wooden vessels used for wine. We can see them depicted in the family coat of arms.
During his time in Ancona, Tartini perfected his violin playing technique as well experimented with the length of the violin bow and thus technically improved it. The end product of his experiments is the violin bow which is still used today.
On the left we see a hand holding a shorter bow like a sword is held, and on the right a hand holding a longer bow like a violin bow is held.
Young Tartini began learning fencing at the “Collegio dei nobili” school for nobles in Koper at only 12 years of age. He was very good at it, he was supposed to be invincible among the students and he even thought about leaving for Paris or Naples, where he was to establish a martial arts school.
Tartini is Piran’s cultural heritage and its artistic name. Although he worked musically mainly in Padua and partly in Prague, Piran remains more than just his birthplace, here the awareness of the importance of his music is most responsive. Ciril Zlobec