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Exhibition Jacopo Ligozzi A draughtsman at the Medici court

from January 27, 2005 to April 25, 2005

Fantasy and naturalism in 16th-century Florence

Born into a family of painters, embroiderers and artisans in Verona around 1550, Jacopo Ligozzi moved to Florence in about 1577, where he entered the service of Francesco I, the second grand duke of Tuscany, and became one of most prolific and remarkable artists of the Medici court.

With the decline of Mannerism, artists sought new ways to attain a sense of magnificence and the sublime. Ligozzi's drawings—by turns weighty or refined and elegant—are windows into a fantastical world, featuring scrupulous natural details and free-ranging imaginative elements.  Ranging in atmosphere from cold piety to enlivening romanticism, Ligozzi's paradoxical imagery draws on highly bizarre associations of forms. Although a naturalist, he makes pervasive use of symbols. Obsessed with damnation, he glorifies the deadly sins and shows a fascination for the decorative possibilities of his macabre fantasies. His subtle line and excellent use of dark wash, judiciously heightened with white or gold, result in unprecedented, singular and fascinating images of a profound and melancholy beauty. The Louvre's Department of Prints and Drawings has dedicated this exhibition to Françoise Viatte, its Chief Curator from June 1988 to August 2004, whose many pursuits included a passionate study of the museum's collection of drawings by Jacopo Ligozzi.

Organized by: Dominique Cordellier and Lucilla Conigliello.

Practical information

Opening hours

Open daily except Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
Evening openings until 9.30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.


Denon wing, 1st floor, rooms 9-10


Free access with the Museum ticket.