(active 1472, d. 1497)


Italian painter and illuminator. Knowledge of the artistic activity of Jacometto is based almost exclusively on the notebooks of Marcantonio Michiel, who recorded a number of his works in the patrician houses of Venice and Padua in the first half of the 16th century. In Pietro Bembo's house Michiel saw a small picture with scenes from the life of a saint, and portraits of Bembo as a child of eleven and of his brother Carlo as a newborn baby in 1472; in the house of Francesco Zio Michiel saw four miniatures by Jacometto in a Book of Hours; in the house of Zuanantonio Venier he saw a small picture with animals painted in chiaroscuro; in the house of Antonio Pasqualino he saw a number of drawings; in the house of Gabriele Vendramin he saw a portrait painted (or drawn) in chiaroscuro, and a small book of vellum with pen drawings of animals and candelabra; and finally, in the house of Michele Contarini in 1543 the author saw 'a little portrait of Messer Alvise Contarini ..., who died some years ago; and on the same panel there is a portrait of a nun of San Secondo. On the cover of these portraits there is a small (?)deer in a landscape; and their leather case is decorated with foliage stamped with gold. This most perfect work is by the hand of Jacometto.'

It is clear from the testimony of Michiel that Jacometto practised chiefly as a manuscript illuminator and as a painter of small-scale panels, most of which were portraits. It is also clear that his work was much in demand among patrician collectors, and that, unlike most art of the generation before Giorgione, it was much admired by Michiel himself. The high reputation the artist enjoyed among his contemporaries is confirmed by the humanist Michele da Placiola, who in a letter of September 1497 praised the young Giulio Campagnola by saying that his miniatures 'are not inferior to those of the late Jacometto, who was the best in the world'.

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