1505 Verona oder Parma
The Italian copperplate engraver, medal-maker, gem-cutter, and goldsmith Gian Jacopo Caraglio was born around 1505 in Verona or Parma. Based on some of the signatures, various authors presume that Parma was his place of birth. Many of Caraglios works were influenced by Marcantonio Raimondi (1480 1534), who primarily engraved in the 3rd decade of the 16th Century based on the drawings of Raffael (1483 1520). Gian Jacopo Caraglio was in Rome at the same time. After the destruction of his workshop during the "Sacco di Roma" in 1527, he went to Venice and worked there until 1537.
During this Roman and Venetian period, he produced prints that were primarily based on Francesco Mazzola (1503 40), Raffael, Perin del Vaga (1501 47), Baccio Bandinelli (1488 1560), Rosso Fiorentino (1494 1540), Tizian (around 1490 1576), and other contemporary artists. He first created the copperplate engravings of the "Annunciation" and the portrait of Pietro Aretino after Tizian. In 1526, Caraglio made the copperplate engraving of the "Adoration of the Shepherds" after the "Birth of Christ" by Francesco Mazzola. Precisely this print served the artist as the model for the hardstone carving of the "Birth of Christ" in quartz.
Possibly at the recommendation of Pietro Aretino (1492 1556), Gian Jacopo Caraglio went to Poland in 1539. No prints were created during this visit to Poland. It is possible that the artist lacked the stimulation from the Italian artists. Beginning on July 3, 1545, Caraglio entered into the service of King Sigismund I of Poland (1467 1548). After the latters death, the artist remained at the court of King Sigismund II August (1520 72) as "servitor regius" until the end of his life. A cameo with the portrait of Barbara Radziwill (1520 1551), the wife of the king, was created during this time. In addition, Gian Jacopo Caraglio made two cameos with the bust of Sigismund II and a medal with the bust of Sigismud II. In 1552, he followed the kings court to its second royal seat of Vilnius, where he worked for a short time. During the months between May and August 1552, he travelled to Italy. A cameo by Caraglio with the "Portrait Bust of Queen Bona in Profile" is one of his known works from 1554.
Gian Jacopo Caraglio died in Cracow on August 26, 1565. He is buried here in the Carmelite Church.