Cortesi, Jacob

, called Borgognone, was a Jesuit, born in Franche Comte, 1621, who carried the art of battle-painting to a degree unknown before or after him. M. A. Cerquozzi himself did justice to his power, and dissuading him from the pursuit of other branches of painting, fixed him to that in which he could not but perceive that Cortesi would be his superior rather than his rival. The great model on which he formed himself was the “Battle of Constantine” in the Vatican. He had been a soldier, and neither the silence of Rome, nor the repose of the convent, could lay his military ardour, He has personified courage in attack or defence, and it has been said that his pictures sound with the shouts of war, the neighing of horses, the cries of the wounded His manner pf painting was rapid, in strokes, and full of colour; hence | its effect is improved by distance. His style was his own, though it may have been invigorated by his attention to the works of Paolo at Venice, and his intercourse with Gnido at Bologna. He died in 1676, leaving a brother William Cortesi, like him called Borgognone, who was the scholar of Pietro da Cortona, though not his imitator. He adhered to Maratta in the choice and variety of his heads, and a certain modesty of composition, but differed from him in his style of drapery and colour, which has something of Flemish transparence his brother, whom he often assisted, likewise contributed to form his manner. A Crucifixion in the church of St. Andrea on Monte Cavallo, and the Battle of Joshua in the palace of the Q.uirinal, by his hand, deserve to be seen.* He died in 1679, aged 51. The brothers are both mentioned by Strutt as having etched some pieces. 1


Pilkington. D’Argenville, vol. IV. Burges’s Lives, in art. Courtois. —Strutt.