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Marco Ricci

Inventor of the 18th-century Venetian landscape

Southern Landscape at Twilight, by Marco Ricci

Nephew of Sebastiano Ricci, Marco (1676-1730) was born in Belluno and taught by his uncle, before he had to leave Venice after murdering a gondolier. He spent time in Rome, before being urged by the British ambassador to Venice to visit England in 1708, along with fellow Venetian Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini.

Marco was a success there, painting scenery for operas and lanscapes, before returning to Venice in 1716 and working with his uncle, developing a new romantic style of Venetian landscape, with loose brush strokes and dramatic skies and figures: he also painted a series of imaginary ruins, and made etchings of his works, and was patronized by Consul Joseph Smith. He is said to have committed suicide with a sword, while 'dressed like a cavaliere'.

In Venice, Ricci's paintings are in the Accademia, Querini Stampalia Foundation and Ca' Rezzonico.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Image by PD Art