Arvedi Laboratory of non-invasive diagnostics



The University of Pavia, the oldest university in Lombardy and one of the oldest in Europe, in 2011 celebrated 650 years since its Foundation. Today the Alma Ticinensis Universitas di Pavia, with over 25,000 registered students, 2 locations (Pavia and Cremona), 17 departments, 86 courses of study, 16 university colleges and 440 international exchange programmes proposes itself as a Research University participating in international projects, it is inserted into a network of the world’s leading colleges and promotes interdisciplinary research in dialogue with businesses.
The profitable and constant collaboration between the University of Pavia and Fondazione Arvedi-Buschini formed the basis for the birth of the Arvedi Laboratory for Non- invasive Diagnostics at the Violin Museum of Cremona. The laboratory came into being as a highly specialized centre of scientific research and diagnostics for the conservation of antique musical instruments.


IMG-20150612-WA0001In view of the planned maintenance and conservation of Artistic Heritage, the mission of the new laboratory is to study and characterize the historical musical instruments conserved in the Museum through the use and implementation of advanced non-invasive diagnostic techniques, with equipment that can be easily transported and used, which will serve to obtain information on the historical materials used by the great master violinmakers such as Antonio Stradivari or Andrea Amati.
The aim of the analyses will be to determine the state of conservation of the artifacts, map any phases of alteration that are present, characterize the materials of which they are made up, such as varnishes, and provide all the information necessary for sharing this knowledge with the violinmaking world as regards construction techniques, materials identified, studies of the dimensions and volumes of the musical instruments.
Using advanced technological instruments the laboratory will be able to provide Cremona’s violinmaking community with a series of services to support and valorize the work of violinmakers and restorers through dimensional and photographic observations and material analyses.
The staff of the Arvedi Laboratory of Cremona is composed of scientific personnel highly qualified in non-invasive diagnostics applied to works of art and in particular the study of historical and contemporary musical instruments.



Licchelli_fotoMaurizio Licchelli, scientific manager


Foto-marcoMarco Malagodi, technical manager


PIER_newPiercarlo Dondi, computer engineer

FOTO_GiusjGiusj Valentina Fichera, conservation scientist


FOTO ClaudiaClaudia Invernizzi, conservation scientist


foto tommasoTommaso Rovetta, conservation scientist – research assistant



  • Professional high-resolution photography (gigapixels images) in visible light (softbox led), chromatically calibrated;
  • Professional fluorescence photography (UV-light);
  • Endoscopy;
  • High-resolution digital Radiography with the possibility to perform measurements via software;
  • High-resolution Stereoscopic images of surface details with the possibility to perform measurements;
  • 3D Modelling  of the musical instrument or its parts with a laser scanner; processing of the polygonal mesh with the possibility to export 2D CAD profile sections and to carry out measurements;
  • Elemental analysis of inorganic phases for the characterization of wood fillers, pigments, etc. through X-Ray Fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF);
  • Molecular Vibrational analysis of organic phases for the characterization of varnishes, dyes, etc. through diffuse reflection infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR);




  • Malagodi M. , Canevari C., Bonizzoni L., Galli A., Maspero F., Martini M., (2013). A multi-technique chemical characterization of a Stradivari decorated violin top plate, in “Applied Physics A”, n. 112, pp. 225-234.
  • T.Rovetta, C. Canevari, L. Festa, M. Licchelli, S. Prati, M. Malagodi, The golden age of the Neapolitan lutherie (1750–1800): new insights on the varnishes and decorations of ten historic mandolins, Applied Physics A, Volume 118, Issue 1 , pp 7-16   DOI: 10.1007/s00339-014-8882-5
  • Malagodi M., Rovetta T., Licchelli M., Study of materials and techniques in painted ceiling panels from a palace in Cremona (Italy, 15thcentury), Heritage Science, 17 march 2014, 2:9, ISSN 2050-7445  DOI:10.1186/2050-7445-2-9
  • L. Bonizzoni, C. Canevari, A. Galli, M. Gargano, N. Ludwig, M. Malagodi, T. Rovetta, A multidisciplinary materials characterization of a Joannes Marcus viol (16th century), Heritage Science Journal, 2014, 2:15  DOI:10.1186/2050-7445-2-15
  • T. Rovetta, C. Invernizzi, M. Licchelli, M. Zilioli, F. Cacciatori, M. Malagodi, 3D printer technology and violin making tradition: an outlook on potential applications and open questions, WAAC – Western Association for Art Conservation
  • Invernizzi C., Daveri A., Rovetta T., Vagnini M., Licchelli M., Cacciatori F., Malagodi M., (2016). A multi-analytical non-invasive approach to violin materials: The case of Antonio Stradivari “Hellier” (1679), Microchemical Journal 124, pp. 743–750.
  • Dondi P., Lombardi L., Malagodi M., Licchelli M., Rovetta T., Invernizzi C., “Semi-automatic system for UV images analysis of historical musical instruments”, Proc. SPIE 9527, Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology V, 95270H (June 30, 2015)   doi:10.1117/12.2184744
  • Dondi P., Lombardi L., Malagodi M., Licchelli M., Rovetta T., Invernizzi C, “An Interactive Tool for Speed up the Analysis of UV Images of Stradivari Violins”, Proceedings of the ICIAP 2015 International Workshops, BioFor, CTMR, RHEUMA, ISCA, MADiMa, SBMI, and QoEM, Genoa, Italy, 7-8 sept 2015
  • Rovetta T., Chiapparini A., Dondi P., Fichera G., Invernizzi C., Licchelli M., Malagodi M., (2016). Metodi Analitici non invasivi per lo studio dei materiali degli Strumenti Musicali Antichi, Archeomatica, Anno VII, N.2, pp. 20-24.
  • Dondi P., Lombardi L., Malagodi M., Licchelli M., Rovetta T., Invernizzi C., (2015) An Interactive Tool for Speed up the Analysis of UV Images of Stradivari Violins, ICIAP 2015 Workshops, LNCS 9281, pp. 103–110.
  • Canevari C., Delorenzi M., Invernizzi C., Licchelli M., Malagodi M., Rovetta T., Weththimuni M., (2015). Chemical characterization of wood samples colored with iron inks: insights into the ancient techniques of wood coloring, Wood Science and Technology, Vol. 50, Issue 5, pp 1057–1070.
  • Albano M., Bonizzi C., Fichera GV., Guida G., Malagodi M., Merlo C., Milanese C., Rovetta T., “Canne d’organo: caratterizzazione del degrado di leghe metalliche ricerche e studi applicati”, proceedings IGICC, p. 165-172, FIRENZE:Nardini Editore, ISBN: 9788840444581 Lo Stato dell’Arte, Accademia Di Belle Arti, L’Aquila, ITALY
  • Albano M., Fichera GV., Rovetta T., Guida G., Licchelli M., Merlo C., Cofrancesco P., Milanese C., Malagodi M., “Microstructural investigations on historical organ pipes”



  • Malagodi M., Fichera G.V., Licchelli M., (2016). Lo studio degli inchiostri, in Antonio Stradivari, disegni, modelli e forme – Catalogo completo della Collezione Stradivariana, Fondazione Museo del Violino Antonio Stradivari, Cremona.
  • Malagodi M., Licchelli M., Dondi P., Fichera GV., Invernizzi C., Rovetta T., “La materia del Cremonese”, in Cacciatori F., Malagodi M., Sarti A., “ll Cremonese 1715, 300° anniversario”, Cremona, Fondazione Museo del Violino Antonio Stradivari, 2015, pag.115-135, ISBN: 88-9091-792-9
  • Dondi P., Fichera GV., Invernizzi C., Licchelli M.,Malagodi M., Rovetta T., “The Messie “model”, research on materials and study of moulds”, in Alf G., Cacciatori F., “The Absolute Stradivari, the Messie violin 1716/2016”, Cremona, Fondazione Museo del Violino Antonio Stradivari, 2016, pp.89-112, ISBN: 8890917970


Paper together with the Musical Acoustic Lab of Politecnico di Milano

  • Setragno F., Zanoni M., Antonacci F., Sarti A., Malagodi M., Invernizzi C., Rovetta T.,”Feature-Based Analysis of the Impact of Ground Coat and Varnish on Violin Tone Qualities”, Acta Acustica united with Acustica 103(1):80-93, DOI: 10.3813/AAA.919035