The Portrait Society | Jacopo Ligozzi

31/07/1997 | 20th centuryCharcoal and acrylic on canvas50 x 40 cm

Jacopo Ligozzi was an Italian painter and draughtsman who specialised mainly in miniatures and scientific drawings of nature. He was trained in the workshop of his father Giovanni, with whom he worked at an early age on altarpieces for churches in the Verona area. In 1576, Ligozzi entered the service of Francesco I de' Medici in Florence. The Grand Duke was delighted with his detailed drawings and skills as a miniaturist and appointed him his official scientific draughtsman. Ligozzi held this role from 1577 to 1591. He produced hundreds of watercolour and tempera drawings of animals and plants during this period. In 1587, he was appointed court painter. With his assistants, he continued to produce scientific drawings, but also panel paintings, as well as designs for glass objects and for ephemeral architecture. Around 1590 Ligozzi devoted himself increasingly to religious painting and produced altarpieces for Florentine churches that met the demands of the Counter-Reformation. Until his death, Ligozzi stayed in the service of the Medici. Religious and allegorical drawings, which deserve particular mention in his oeuvre, are to be regarded as works of art on their own, in terms of their richness of detail and expressiveness.

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