Jacopo Amigoni

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Self-Portrait (circa 1730-1735)

Jacopo Amigoni , sometimes also Amiconi (* 1682 in Naples , † 1752 in Madrid ) was an Italian Rococo painter .

Jacopo Amigoni came across half of Europe in the course of his artistic career. Above all as a portrait and history painter, he became somewhat famous and well known as well as some wealth.


Ceiling painting Dido receives Aeneas in the Viktoriensaal in the New Schleissheim Palace
New Schleissheim Palace - Great Hall - ceiling fresco, cf. also the large, zoomable version at www.bavarikon.de

His apprenticeship years led Amigoni from Venice to Flanders, where he dealt intensively with Flemish painting .

Bavaria: Schleissheim, Frauenkirche in Munich and others

His real career began in 1715 when he took up employment with the Bavarian Elector Maximilian II Emanuel .

During his time in Bavaria he created:

The aforementioned large altarpiece Christ the Risen meets his mother is now in the church of the Frauenwörth Abbey on the island of Frauenchiemsee , where it is, however, replaced at certain times of the year by a painting of the blessed Irmengard von Chiemsee .

The copperplate engraver Joseph Wagner became his pupil in Munich .

London: Amigoni, Wagner & Farinelli

One of Amigoni's paintings showing the castrato Farinelli. It was engraved by Wagner.
Engraving of the above painting by Amigoni. It shows the castrato singer Carlo Broschi, called Farinelli, as a singer crowned by the Muses
Another painting by Amigonis showing Carlo Broschi alias Farinelli.

In 1730 he went to London and took Wagner there with him. Apparently Amigoni soon got to know the Italian composer Nicola Porpora there and through him came into contact with the most famous castrato singer of the 18th century - Farinelli . He had learned at Porpora and was also committed to London by him. In London, Farinelli, although he was only supposed to stay in the English capital from 1734 to 1735, became the star of the opera stage and not only the best-paid singer of his time, but also the darling of the nobles, who were keen to give him rich presents . It is rumored that Porpora and Amigoni, using Farinelli as a draft horse, also got lucrative and very well paid jobs through him. In any case, numerous portraits of the castrato have been preserved by Amigoni, which are now distributed throughout Europe. His pupil Wagner used some of these paintings to make copperplate engravings; these can also be found in numerous museums and private collections.

Madrid 1747–1752: Reunion with Farinelli

In 1739 he returned to Venice. It is said to have been Amigoni who persuaded Canaletto to travel to England, which he undertook in 1746. Other stations in his life were France and Spain.

In Spain he became court painter at the royal court in Madrid in 1747, where he also died five years later. In Madrid there was a reunion with Farinelli, who had entered the service of Maria Luisa Gabriella of Savoy , Queen of Spain, there in 1737 in order to overcome the sadness, or according to today's definition, depression , of her husband, King Philip V. of Spain to alleviate. Even under his successor Ferdinand VI. Farinelli remained employed at the court and was practically Kapellmeister and opera director there. This is how Farinelli made further portraits in Madrid.

Above all, Amigoni created large-format paintings in Madrid on behalf of the Spanish king. Among them are particularly known:

  • Ceiling painting in a hall of the palace of the Spanish king in Aranjuez
  • Holy Family in the Oratorio in the San Salvador Church in Madrid
  • the four seasons in the royal theater in the Buen Retiro palace (not preserved)


Amigoni's style is characterized in the New General Artist Lexicon ... by Georg Kaspar Nagler as follows:

“It is peculiar in its soft, often indefinite outlines and an occasional yellow shade. According to Lanzi, his better style is that which he acquired in Flanders by studying those masters. There he learned the art of reaching simple black with shadows, and thus, without interfering with the loveliness, to achieve perfect transparency and clarity. "

Works (selection)

  • Christ the Risen meets his mother , ca.1715
  • Jupiter and Callisto , circa 1740–1750
  • Zephyr and Flora , mid-18th century
  • Juno receives the head of Argus
  • Perseus and Andromeda
  • Venus and Adonis
  • Carlo Broschi detto Farinelli , 1735;
  • Carlo Broschi detto Farinelli (1734/35), oil on canvas (277 × 186 cm); Bucharest , Muzeul Național de Artă al României , cat. 272
  • Carlo Broschi detto Farinelli (1750/52), oil on canvas, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
  • Carlo Broschi detto Farinelli (1750/51), oil on canvas, Melbourne , National Gallery of Victoria
  • "Sig [no] r Carlo Broschi D [ett] o Farinello" , oil on canvas, Paris , Musée Carnavalet , (attributed to Amigoni),
  • Hercules and Omphale
  • Saint Maximilian von Celeia , oil on canvas, Sulzbürg , cath. Parish Church of Mater Dolorosa


  • 1826 in Nuremberg : a man with a boy m. Drum, from Amiconi. , Directory of the collection of books, oil paintings, copperplate engravings, water and enamel paintings, ... of the postmaster, who died in Nuremberg, Schustern which ..., Google Books, online, p. 15, position 2.



most detailed:

see. also:

Web links

Commons : Jacopo Amigoni  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. cf. Entry Amigoni, Jacopo in Felix Joseph Lipowsky: Baierisches Künstler-Lexikon . First volume. From A. to OS 5–6 as well as the entry Amigoni, Jacopo in Georg Kaspar Nagler: New general artist lexicon… . Schwarzenmann & Schumann, Leipzig, pp. 101-102
  2. Frauenwörth Abbey, Frauenchiemsee ( Memento of the original from March 7, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed July 8, 2014 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.erzbistum-muenchen.de
  3. In the Baroque era, singing teachers often benefited from the success of their successful students long after they had finished their training. Since most of the singing students who were to be trained to be castrati came from poor families, they could not pay for their training and therefore had to undertake to pay the training fees if they were successful. So they often performed in the last years of their training and often for a few years afterwards, received a fee for it, but had to cede a large part of it to their singing teacher. Farinelli had learned from Porpora and the latter called him to London in 1734 so that he could become the singing star of the so-called aristocratic opera , which had set itself the goal of competing with the Royal Academy of Music , where Georg Friedrich Handel was employed.
  4. (author unknown): Farinelli. The Westminster Magazine: or, The Pantheon of Taste , vol. 5 (1777), pp. 396-397
  5. The claim that the contact with Farinelli only came about during a stay in Paris in 1736, as Constantin von Wurzbach : Amigoni, Jakob . In: Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich . 1st part. University printing house L. C. Zamarski (formerly JP Sollinger), Vienna 1856, p. 31 ( digitized version ). is obviously wrong.
  6. ^ Entry Amigoni, Jacopo in Georg Kaspar Nagler: New general artist lexicon… . Schwarzenmann & Schumann, Leipzig, p. 101