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Attributed to Jacopo L'Indaco. Hercules and the Nemean Lion. 
From Christie's.

JACOPO L'INDACO (1476-1531)
PAINTER


Vasari's Lives of the Artists




JACOPO, CALLED L'Indaco, who was a disciple of Domenico del Ghirlandajo, and who worked in Rome with Pinturicchio, was a passing good master in his day; and although he did not make many works, yet those that he did make are worthy of commendation. Nor is there any need to marvel that only very few works issued from his hands, for the reason that, being a gay and humorous fellow and a lover of good cheer, he harbored but few thoughts and would never work save when he could not help it; and so he used to say that doing nothing else but labor, without taking a little pleasure in the world, was no life for a Christian. He lived in close intimacy with Michelagnolo, for when that craftsman, supremely excellent beyond all who have ever lived, wished to have some recreation after his studies and his continuous labors of body and mind, no one was more pleasing to him for the purpose or more suited to his humour than this man.

Jacopo worked for many years in Rome, or, to be more precise, he lived many years in Rome, working very little. By his hand, in that city, is the first chapel on the right hand as one enters the Church of S. Agostino by the door of the facade; on the vaulting of which chapel are the Apostles receiving the Holy Spirit, and on the wall below are two stories of Christ in one His taking Peter and Andrew from their nets, and in the other the Feast of Simon and the Magdalene, in which there is a ceiling of planks and beams, counterfeited very well. In the panel of the same chapel, which he painted in oil, is a Dead Christ, wrought and executed with much mastery and diligence. In the Trinita at Rome, likewise, there is a little panel by his hand with the Coronation of Our Lady. But what need is there to say more about this man? What more, indeed, is there to say? It is enough that he loved gossiping as much as he always hated working and painting.

Now seeing that, as has been said, Michelagnolo used to take pleasure in this man's chattering and in the jokes that he was ever making, he kept him almost always at his table; but one day Jacopo wearied him as such fellows more often than not do come to weary their friends and patrons with their incessant babbling, so often ill- timed and senseless; babbling, I call it, for reasonable talk it cannot be called, since for the most part there is neither reason nor judgment in such people and Michelagnolo, who, perchance, had other thoughts in his mind at the time and wished to get rid of him, sent him to buy some figs; and no sooner had Jacopo left the house than Michelagnolo bolted the door behind him, determined not to open to him when he came back. L' Indaco, then, on returning from the market square, perceived, after having knocked at the door for a time in vain, that Michelagnolo did not intend to open to him; whereupon, flying into a rage, he took the figs and the leaves and spread them all over the threshold of the door. This done, he went his way and for many months refused to speak to Michelagnolo; but at last, becoming reconciled with him, he was more his friend than ever. Finally, having reached the age of sixty-eight, he died in Rome.

Not unlike Jacopo was a younger brother of his, whose proper name was Francesco, although he too was afterwards called L' Indaco by way of surname; and he, likewise, was a painter, and more than passing good. He was not unlike Jacopo I mean, in his unwillingness to work (to say the least), and in his love of talking but in one respect he surpassed Jacopo, for he was ever speaking evil of everyone and decrying the works of every craftsman. This man, after having wrought certain things in Montepulciano both in painting and in clay, painted a little panel for the Audience Chamber of the Company of the Nunziata in Arezzo, containing an Annunciation, and a God the Father in Heaven surrounded by many angels in the form of children. And in the same city, on the first occasion when Duke Alessandro went there, he made a most beautiful triumphal arch, with many figures in relief, at the gate of the Palazzo de' Signori; and also, in competition with other painters who executed a number of other works for the entry of the said Duke, the scenery for the representation of a play, which was held to be very beautiful. Afterwards, having gone to Rome at the time when the Emperor Charles V was expected there, he made some figures in clay, and a coat of arms in fresco for the Roman people on the Campidoglio, which was much extolled. But the best work that ever issued from the hands of this master, and the most highly praised, was a little study wrought in stucco for the Duchess Margherita of Austria in the Palace of the Medici at Rome a thing so beautiful and so ornate that there is nothing better to be seen; nor do I believe that it is possible, in a certain sense, to do with silver what L' Indaco did in this work with stucco. From these things it may be judged that if this man had taken pleasure in work and had made use of his intelligence, he would have become excellent.

Francesco drew passing well, but Jacopo much better, as may be seen in our book.



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