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Jonathan Santa Maria Bouquet Produces Technical Drawings

Jonathan Santa Maria Bouquet

Jonathan Bouquet, an Advanced Conservation intern from Mexico City, recently completed a technical drawing of the NMM’s outstanding Stainer violin made in Absam bei Innsbruck in 1668 (NMM 4548). The instrument is one of only two of Stainer’s violins known to survive in its original condition. This is the seventh in a series of state-of-the-art technical drawings, with photographic inserts, completed by Bouquet in 2009-2010.

All of the drawings, available printed on high quality paper or mylar, are available for purchase through the NMM Gift Shop. The drawings currently available include:


Sample of the technical drawing of the choral mandolin, "The Cutler-Challen," by Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1680 (NMM 6045).

Technical drawing of choral mandolino by Antonio Stradivari

Bouquet recently commenced work on an eighth technical drawing, this time of the NMM’s cittern, possibly made by Petrus Raitta, England, in 1579 (NMM 13500). This instrument, which may be the oldest English-made Renaissance cittern to survive, dates from period during which some of the finest music of the Renaissance was written.

For nearly a decade, Bouquet has studied and worked in the field of instrument construction, restoration, and documentation. From 2001-2005, he apprenticed in the Daniel Guzman Workshop in Mexico City, where he assisted Guzman by making various musical instruments including historically influenced guitars, a rabel, and Jarana huastecas (a type of Mexican guitar). From 2003 to 2005, Bouquet worked with the “Realejo Organeros Asociados” in the restoration, tuning, and repair of pipe organs in Mexico City. He undertook advanced training and earned a specialization diploma in lute making from the Civica Scuola di Liuteria in Milan, Italy, in 2005-2007, where he also studied conservation, documentation, and restoration. A Conservation Internship at the Musical Instrument Museum at the Castello Sforzesco in Milan was undertaken in 2007. That fall, Bouquet began a year-long, A. W. Mellon Conservation Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where he completed detailed technical drawings of several historical lutes. In 2010, he completed requirements for a bachelor’s degree in double-bass performance from the Escuela Superior de Musica INBA (Fine Arts National Institute) in Mexico City.

Bouquet first visited the NMM during the annual meeting of the American Musical Instrument Society in May 2006. Impressed with the NMM’s collections, he later applied for an internship in order “to have the opportunity to research and work with [the NMM’s] collection, which I consider one of the most important of its kind in my field of study—the historical plucked string instruments.” He was awarded a six-month, advanced conservation internship and worked at the NMM from mid-January-mid-July 2009, during which time he researched and prepared his first set of technical drawings. As a result of the high caliber of his work, he was granted a second, six-month internship at the NMM in 2009-2010.

Bouquet is passionate about his highly technical and time-consuming vocation. In his internship application, he noted that "as a trained lute maker, I often find my work obstructed or delayed by the lack of accurate, technical drawings. Frequently, technical drawings are reinterpretations of the instruments, intending to be construction plans based on a specific style of lute. This leads to misunderstandings and the recurrence or reiteration of given mistakes, since in most cases they represent a subjective interpretation of the theoretical original condition, deduced after a determined background, which may or may not be truthful."

"Technical drawings are one important component of a thorough conservation report that leads to the understanding of an object through detailed description of its actual, present condition utilizing graphic imagery. The reconstruction plan is an entirely different level of approach to the object; it implies the reinterpretation of the information [available] in a detailed technical drawing and must be undertaken independently by the maker or researcher from a serious and academic posture."

"Most early lutes, for example, have been modified during their lifetime in order to keep up with musical developments and tastes. Detailed documentation, through technical drawings, of modifications to an instrument provides for better understanding of the musical context in which the instrument was used."

Return to NMM Newsletter Index (March 2010)

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