(b. 1547, Verona, d. 1627, Firenze)


Italian painter and draftsman, part of a large family of painters and artisans patronised by the Habsburg Imperial Family, who also executed commissions for the prince-bishop of Trento. His father was the artist Giovanni Ermanno Ligozzi.

After a time in the Habsburg court in Vienna where he displayed drawings of animal and botanical specimens, he was invited to come to Florence, receiving the patronage of the Medici as one of the court artists. Upon the death of Giorgio Vasari in 1574, he became head of the Accademia del Disegno (now the Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze), the officially patronized guild of artists. Ligozzi was made capomaestro (chief head) of the Florentine granducal artistic workshop, soprintendente della galleria (superintendent of the gallery), and first painter to the court. He served Francesco I, Ferdinando I, Cosimo II and Ferdinando II, Grand Dukes of Tuscany.

Ligozzi became a specialist painter of plants and animals, which he managed to reproduce in so vivid a fashion they seemed quite almost life like. During his first ten years in Florence his time was principally devoted to this activity, but also included some of the interior decorations of the Tribuna degli Uffizi for which he also supplied in 1587 small groups of paintings. These included the Sacrifice of Isaac and the Female Strangler still in the Florentine public collections. He was also a portraitist. One of the most prolific artists of the 1600s in Florence, Jacopo Ligozzi signed many of his works with the title di minio, miniaturist, suggesting the importance he attached to his small-scale works.