About Jan Röhrmann Publications

I have been documenting historic and contemporary stringed instruments as a trained photographer since 1994. I specialize exclusively in this field as its only globally active photographer and pursue this passion full-time.

In my profession as a documentarian and chronicler of rare instruments I have photographed nearly 500 works of the legendary violin maker Antonio Stradivari from Cremona. It is said that only Stradivari himself has held more of his instruments in his hands... The value of the instruments I have documented runs into the billions. I have thus not been able to photographically archive all of Stradivari’s work, including some of circa 650 instruments that still exist.

My photographs of most stringed instruments have been published full size in several book publications, including examples of the rare cellos.
I am co-editor of the four-volume compendium "Antonio Stradivari Vol I-IV" published in 2010 and the ongoing book series "Treasures of Italian violin makers" published in 2015, 2017 and 2022.

For the past 10 years I have been working on a three-volume series of books on Mantovan violin making from 1650-1950 with co-editors Philip Kass of Philadelphia and Andrea Zanre of Parma, with publication proposed in 2024.

At the beginning of 2018 I was entrusted by a private individual with the full project implementation of the multi-volume book series "An Iconography of the surviving Oeuvre of Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri known as Joseph Guarnerius del Gesù (1698 - 1744)“. Along with Antonio Stradivari he is an equally celebrated and fascinating violin maker from Cremona, whose work is today also traded in the double-digit millions. I have been able to photographically document more than 100 instruments already from a much smaller total production compared to that of Antonio Stradivari and his sons. About 200 instruments divided into several volumes, meticulously researched provenances for each instrument and mostly life-size, finely printed photographs. Edited by Michael A. Baumgartner, photographed by myself and in collaboration with numerous international experts.

To compliment the wealth of information being prepared for the upcoming work on Guarneri del Gesù, Robert Brewer Young, director of the J&A Beare Department of Scientific Research and Conservation, and myself as project manager and photographer, we propose to create a comprehensive protocol for documenting a select number of outstanding examples. Methods will include, but not be limited to: structured light 3d modelling, macro photos for revealing varnish stratification, penetration and wear patterns. Arching templates produced from industrial CT scans, RTI imaging with three different wave- lengths of light. Infrared lightstudies of interiors, acoustic analysises, precise outlines of top back and ribs. Detailed thicknessing maps and measurements and analysis of patina and added materials.

The experience gained over several decades as a photographer and co-publisher now flows into the publishing house JRPublications founded in 2023 specifically for this upcoming opus "How many del Gesù’s?"

All book publications featuring my photographs of stringed instruments can be viewed and ordered under "Book Collection".