Jacopo Zanguidi Bertoia (Biographical details)

Jacopo Zanguidi Bertoia (Italian; 1544 - 1574)

Also known as

Bertoia, Jacopo Zanguidi; Bertoja, Jacopo Zanguidi

Biography

Painter. Jacopo Zanguidi, called Bertoja, b. Parma, 25 July 1544, d. there, 1574. Nothing is known of his artistic education, but his works show that the preponderant influence in his development was that of Parmigianino, who had died four years before he was born. In 1565 Bertoja was commissioned to paint the 'Coronation of the Virgin' on the exterior of the Palazzo del Comune in Parma as part of the decorations celebrating the entry of Maria of Portugal after her marriage to Alessandro Farnese. Only a fragment of this survives, and the drawing claimed to be Bertoja's study for it seems to be by Parmigianino. By 1568 he was in the service of the Farnese, and was paid six scudi for his expenses in returning from Parma to Rome. This must imply that he had previously been in Rome. On 13 July 1569 Cardinal Alessandro Farnese wrote to his secretary that he wished to dismiss Federico Zuccaro from Caprarola and replace him by Bertoja, who was then decorating the Oratorio del Gonfalone in Rome (see 1959,1114.2). In spite of the Cardinal's decision, Bertoja seems to have delayed his departure for Caprarola until soon after 18 July 1573. He was paid for work there in September 1574. Between 1569 and 1574 he had returned more than once to Parma. There is no documentary evidence identifying his share in the decoration of Caprarola or of the Palazzo del Giardino in Parma, but it is generally assumed that in the former, the Sala dei Sogni, Sala dei Giudici and Sala della Penitenza were largely his work; and in the latter, the Sala del Bacio, the Sala di Orfeo and a third room fragments of the frescoes from which are now in the Parma Gallery. There are no payments recorded for specific work in Parma that survives, but the Farnese account books for 1570 to 1573 are missing. The decoration of the great hall of the castle of San Secondo, near Parma, has been plausibly attributed to him, but there are no records connecting him with it. In the Oratorio del Gonfalone in Rome, one bay with the 'Entry of Christ into Jerusalem' and the section of frieze above is certainly his work (see 1959,1114.2).
A large share in the decoration of the two rooms in the Palazzo del Giardino has been claimed for Girolamo Mirola. We are told by Vasari (vii, p. 422) that "un pittore detto Miruolo . . . ha dipinto a fresco molte storie in un palazzetto che ha fatto fare il detto signor duca nel castello di Parma" (i.e. the Palazzo del Giardino), and the Farnese paid Mirola a regular salary in Parma from 3 April 1561 until his death some time before 31 August 1570. Paintings are attributed to Mirola in old inventories and guides, among them the 'Rape of the Sabines' for which Pp,2.182 appears to be a study. I cannot, however, detect any difference in style between this drawing and others which there is reason to believe are by Bertoja; nor does it seem to me possible to distinguish from drawings by Bertoja the one of 'Apollo and the Muses' belonging to Mr. Keith Andrews, which bears the old inscription "Girolamo Mirol" (Quintavalle, 'Bertoja', fig. 34). The latter seems to be by the same hand as a drawing in the Louvre of 'Venus with Cupid in a Chariot drawn by Doves' (6064a ; Quintavalle, op.cit., fig. 71) which belonged to Vasari and which he at any rate believed to be by Bertoja. The catalogue entries that follow are arranged in the order of acquisition: in the case of an artist whose working life was limited to about ten years and few of whose existing paintings can be dated with any precision, it seems to me presumptuous to impose a chronological sequence on his works.

Bibliography

Popham 1967
A. Ghidiglia Quintavalle, Il Bertoja, Parma, 1963 (with previous bibliography), reviewed by the compiler of the present catalogue and by Mr. Keith Andrews respectively in Master Drawings, ii (1964), pp. 169 ff., and Burlington, cvi (1964), pp. 463 ff.