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Jacques Courtois

called il Borgognone or Giacomo Borgognone delle Battaglie, 1621 Saint-Hippolyte – 1676 Rome

The French painter, etcher and draughtsman Jacques Courtois became one of the most celebrated battle painters of his time in Rome, where he arrived with his younger brother Guillaume around 1640. The artist led a varied and interesting life and travelled a great deal. Around 1636 Courtois spent some time in Milan and Bologna, where he attracted the attention of Guido Reni, studying under him and Francesco Albani. In Rome, in the circle of the Bamboccianti, he was inspired by Jan Asselijn and Michelangelo Cerquozzi and, following the latter’s advice, devoted himself thenceforth to battle painting. Pietro da Cortona, with whom he was on friendly terms, secured him his first commissions from the Roman patriciate.