Sebastiano Ricci, 1659–1734, was an
Italian artist. One of the principal figures in the revival of Venetian
painting in the 1700s, Sebastiano Ricci's dramatic and sumptuous work
appealed to ecclesiastical and royal patrons across Europe. Ricci's
painting was indebted both to Paolo Veronese and other Italian painters
of the 1500s and looked ahead to the next generation of Venetian artists
including Giambattista Tiepolo and Antonio Guardi.
Ricci began his training in Venice but following a
charge of attempted murder, he departed for Bologna in 1681. Over the
next fifteen years, Ricci was almost constantly on the move and is
known to have worked in Parma, Rome, and Milan. His brushes with the
law persisted but Ricci established his career as a decorative painter
producing frescos and paintings for churches and palaces.
Ricci finally returned to Venice in 1696 and received
many commissions in the region. He also accepted important commissions
in Vienna and Florence and in 1711 traveled to England with his nephew
Marco, also an established painter. The luminous, decorative works Ricci
produced for the British aristocracy secured his international reputation.
In his later years, he increasingly collaborated with his nephew, creating
works across Europe until shortly before his death in 1734.