Ricci, Sebastiano (1659-1734)

"Ricci, Sebastiano (1659-1734)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 28th April 2011

Sebastiano Ricci, Italian painter, was born in Belluno in 1659 and died in Venice in 1734. In 1680 Ricci moved from Venice, where was a pupil of S.Mazzoni, to Bologna's workshop of G.G.Dal Sole, and afterwards in Parma, to the court of duke Ranuccio: a cycle of paintings for the University (Diogene and Alexander, Muzio Scevola, Lucrezia). The first works of Ricci show a big influence of Annibale Carracci and Correggio. In 1685-87 he decorated an Oratory of Madonna del Serraglio at Chiesa di S.Secondo in Parma. The duke sent him to Rome where he had an opportunity to study the great contemporary Baroque decoration by Pietro da Cortona and Baciccia. In 1694 Ricci moved to Lombardy and in this period executed: Guardian Angel (Chiesa di S.Maria del Carmine, Pavia); frescoes Ascension and Saints (Chiesa di S.Bernardino dei Morti, Milan, 1695-98).

In the end of the century Ricci returns to Veneto: ceiling frescoes Fall of Fetonte, paintings Stories of Hercules (Palazzo Fulcis-De Bertoldi, Belluno); ceiling frescoes in Palazzo Querini Stampalia (Venice); Ascension (Chiesa dei S.Apostoli in Rome); paintings for Chiesa di S.Giustina (Padua).

In the first decade of the 18th century were executed the frescoes on the ceiling of Chiesa di S.Marziale in Venice; decoration of Palazzo Marucelli; hall of Palazzo Pitti in Florence (1706-07); Madonna enthroned and nine saints (Chiesa di S.Giorgio Maggiore, Venice); dome in Cappella della Vergine (Chiesa di S.Maria del Carmine, Venice).

In 1712-1716 Ricci lived in England where executed the Resurrection of Christ for the Hospital of Chelsea; paintings on mythological subjects for the house of lord Burlington (now seat of Royal Academy).

The following years were marked with the important work orders and growth of his fame. The court of Turin commissioned Ricci to depict the paintings for Palazzo Reale and for Castello di Rivoli: Salomone adoring idols, Repudiation of Agar, Susane and Daniel (Galleria Sabauda); two altarpiece for the Basilica di Superga.

For the English consul in Venice, Ricci executed in 1726-29 a number of different precious paintings representing the scenes of ancient history and of Old and New Testament (now in Hampton Court, London).

In the last period of activity the large altarpieces were created: Ecstasy of St Theresa (Vicenza, Chiesa di S.Girolamo degli Scalzi); St Gregory delivering the souls from purgatory (Bergamo, Chiesa di S.Alessandro della Croce); Miracle of St Francis of Paola (Venice, Chiesa di S.Rocco).

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