(b. 1621, Saint Hyppolyte, d. 1676, Roma)


French painter, who together with his brother Guillaume were active in Italy and often known by the Italian forms of the names, Giacomo and Guglielmo Cortese. They came from Burgundy and both had the nickname Il Borgognone or Le Bourguignon. Jacques was a prolific painter of battle scenes, fairly close in style to those of Salvator Rosa, but more colourful.

Courtois is an example of a painter who has escaped notice in terms of art history, because of both his isolation from his native Franche Comté (incorporated into France by Louis XIV) and his lack of association with Italian art, even though he spent his whole career in Rome. Courtois evolved the archetypal small battle piece, depicting plenty of violence and the smoke of combat, a format that was to remain standard right up to the end of the eighteenth century, though few of its exponents were French. Authentic works by Courtois frequently appear on the art market, but much of his oeuvre has till to be identified.