b. 1659 Belluno, Italy, d. 1734 Venice
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.