Amiconi, Giacomo

, a painter well known in England, was a native of Venice, and came to England in 1729, when he was about forty years of age. He had studied under Bellucci in the Palatine court, and had been some years in the elector of Bavaria’s service. His manner was a still fainter imitation of that nerveless master Sebastian Ricci, and as void of the glow of life as the Neapolitan Solimeni. His women are mere chalk; nor was | this his worst defect: his figures are so entirely without expression, that his historical compositions seem to represent a set of actors in a tragedy, ranged in attitudes against the curtain draws up. His Marc Antonys are as free from passion as his Scipios. He painted some staircases of noblemen’s houses, and afterwards practised portrait-painting with rather more success. In 1736 he made a journey to Paris with the celebrated singer Farinelli, and returned with him in October following. His portrait of Farinelli was engraved. He then engaged with Wagner, an engraver, in a scheme of prints from Canaletti’s views of Venice, and after marrying an Italian singer, returned to his own country in 1739, having acquired here about 5000l. At last he settled in Spain, was appointed painter to the,king, and died in the 63d year of his age, at Madrid, September 1752. His daughters, the signora Belluomini and the signora Castellini, the latter a paintress in crayons, were living at Madrid in 1772, as Mr. Twiss informs us in, his Travels, p. 167, 1775, 4to.

Such is lord Orford’s account of this painter. Mr. Pilkington’s character is rather more favourable, although perhaps modern connoisseurs will place less dependance on it. Amiconi possessed, says this writer, a very fertile invention; his taste of design was considerably elegant; and the air and turn of some of his figures, in his best compositions, were allowed to have somewhat engaging, natural, and even graceful. He confessedly had many of the accomplishments of a good painter; but, although his merit must in many respects be allowed, and his drawing, in particular, is generally correct, yet his colouring is abundantly too cold, too pale, and (as it is termed by the artists) too mealy. 1

1 Orford’s Works, vol. III. Pilkington.