Giovanni Battista Viotti was born into an era and country where music was part of everyday life. Our knowledge of Viotti's existence before his bursting into prominence in Paris in 1782 is still very blurry compared to the clear picture that now emerges of his post-1792 life. The precocious young violinist appears to have been left with a deep appreciation of the value of education, and a lasting interest in education methods, evidence of which crops up sporadically throughout his life. Even at such a young age Viotti must have been conscious of the fact that he had been assigned as teacher the most famous violinist in Turin, and soon been made aware that that city was one of the pre-eminent musical centres in Europe, a region of rich musical heritage. Viotti's personal appearance certainly counted in his favour, and as can be seen from the Chinnery letters, he dressed with care.