Giacomo Bertucci, known as Jacopone da Faenza

Faenza, c. 1502–79

Jacopone is one of Faenza’s artistic glories. Born into the trade, so to speak, he came from a family of painters that was extremely active in the city, starting with his father Giovanni Battista Bertucci the Elder and his uncle Girolamo, and continuing with such leading figures on the local scene as his nephew Giovanni Battista the younger. Jacopone was no mere local figure, however, in that he enjoyed a considerable reputation on the broader Italian art scene in the early decades of the 16th century, taking part in major decorative projects in Ferrara, Ravenna and Rome, where he moved, possibly as early as c. 1520, and where by 1550 he was a member of the prestigious Accademia di San Luca along with his nephew Giovanni Battista Bertucci the Younger and the greatest artists of the day. In 1537 he was working with Battista Dossi and Girolamo da Carpi on the Este family’s Belriguardo estate in Ferrara (probably also painting the Pinacoteca di Faenza’s San Maglorio Altarpiece at around this time) and then in Ravenna where he and Giulio Tonducci frescoed the now destroyed dome of San Vitale (1540–3). On his return to Rome, he joined Perin del Vaga in decorating the Castel Sant’Angelo between 1542 and 1545, while Giorgio Vasari in the 1568 edition of his Lives of the Artists lists him among Taddeo Zuccari’s masters.

Returning to Faenza, he was to spend the rest of his life in his native city, continuing to produce such monumental works as the Deposition for the church of San Rocco (1552–3) and the Coronation of the Virgin with the Dispute over the Coronation of the Virgin and St. Benedict, the Evangelists St. John and St. Matthew, St. John the Baptist and Pope St. Celestine in the lower part of the altarpiece for the church of the Celestine order, signed and dated 1565 (both now in the Pinacoteca Comunale di Faenza). In this, his last altarpiece, the donor, Fra’ Giovan Battista Paravicini from Brisighella, had himself portrayed kneeling before his namesake, St. John the Baptist.

Artworks in Pinacoteca
  • Giacomo Bertucci, known as Jacopone da Faenza
    The Deposition from the Cross