- Also known as
primary name: Cortese, Giacomo
other name: Borgognone, il
other name: Bourguignon, le
other name: Courtois, Jacques
- individual; painter/draughtsman; Roman; Italian; French; Male
- Life dates
- Giacomo Cortese, by birth Jacques Courtois, also known as Le Bourguignon and Il Borgognone. Painter of battle scenes. Older brother of Guglielmo Cortese. b. in Franche-Comté, in Italy by 1636. Worked in Rome, became Jesuit priest in 1668.
(Text from Turner)
Painter, b. St Hippolyte, Franche-Comté, 1621, d. Rome 1675. The older brother of Guglielmo Cortese (q.v), Giacomo was taught by his father Jean-Pierre Courtois. Although strictly speaking he belongs to the French School, like his brother, he spent his career in Italy, mostly in Rome, and his work is best understood in the context of other Roman art of the period. He arrived in Italy by 1636 and remained there, with the exception of a short period in the mid-1650s, when he returned to his birthplace on family business. His first three years in Italy were spent on military campaigns, throughout which he drew battles and landscapes from nature. By 1638 he was in Rome, where he met Pietro da Cortona (q.v) and the battle painter Michelangelo Cerquozzi (1602-60). From 1651 to 1655 he was employed in Florence by Prince Mattia de' Medici, and in 1657 he was once more in Rome, where he joined the Jesuit Order, becoming a priest in 1668. After taking orders, he painted a number of religious works, though he also continued to paint battles. In 1658-61 he collaborated with his younger brother Guglielmo on the decoration of the chapel of the Congregation of the Prima Primaria at the Collegio Romano.
Giacomo's paintings of battles are typically set within a spacious landscape, with a background of rocky cliffs and mountains, the human drama often echoed by turbulent skies. His colours are usually clear and bright, revealing the influence of Cortona and the Neapolitans Aniello Falcone (1607-56) and Salvator Rosa (1615-73). His drawing style, on the other hand, shows a greater debt to fellow French artists working in Italy, such as Jacques Callot (1592-1635), Nicolas Poussin (1594-l665) and Claude (1600-82); but there is also some evidence of the impact of the drawings of Mola (q.v.) and Salvator Rosa.
- Robert-Dumesnil I pp.199-209 (16 nos)