- (Emilian), 1666 - in or after 1751
Originally from Parma, where Correggio was a primary influence, Michele Rocca traveled to Rome in 1682 and trained under a follower of Pietro da Cortona. Five years later he was back in Parma, but by 1695 he had returned to Rome. He joined Rome's Accademia di San Luca in 1719 and gained an official position there in 1727. Rocca became renowned for precious, small-scale cabinet pictures of mythological and religious subjects. His cosmopolitan style was fundamentally sensual, with luminous pigmentation and rich painterly effects; this artistic vision aligned more closely with the emerging French Rococo than with his Roman colleagues' Baroque approach.
Rome's artistic environment provided Rocca with the major elements of his style. Under Sebastiano Conca's influence, Rocca painted works that are often mistaken for Conca's. A fellow Italian painter's elegant, sweet manner also inspired Rocca; through him, Rocca may have met French painters working in Rome. By the 1720s Rocca's paintings displayed the languorous eroticism and fashionable chic of the French Rococo.