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Giacomo Francesco Cipper, known as Il Todeschini (Feldkirch 1664 - Milan 1736)

Born at Feldkirch, in Austria, in 1664, Cipper moved to Milan as a young man, settling there permanently in 1696. In 1693, he is thought to have contributed, with Giovanni Battista Colomba, to the decoration of the Czerniakòw Church near Warsaw. After his brief stay in Poland he returned to Italy, turning his hand to still life, a genre of which he became a leading exponent in northern Italy towards the end of the 17th century. He was a fairly prolific painter, also producing lively indoor scenes of the common people with gamblers, tricksters and drunkards and outdoor scenes of brawls and beggars, as well as single figures and animals surrounded by plants. This style is reminiscent of the work of the better-known Giacomo Ceruti and of the Lombard naturalist school of the time: Cipper was often in Ceruti’s company and in the 1720s lived in the same Milan neighbourhood of San Vito al Pasquirolo.
Cipper enjoyed a degree of success among the great aristocratic families of Lombardy and Venetia and his paintings appear in the inventories of the major collections of the early 18th century. His work eventually came to the notice of Viennese and German art dealers and collectors. He died in Milan in the autumn of 1736.

Alessandro Zuccari