The Sermon on the Mount
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Sebastiano Ricci ( Belluno 1659 - Venice 1734 )
Sebastiano Ricci was a successful decorator active at the end of the Baroque era, who developed the achievement of Veronese into a spirited Rococo style. He was also responsive to a wide variety of 17th-century influences, including Annibale Carracci, Pietro da Cortona and Gaulli. He often collaborated with his nephew Marco (1676–1730), who became a specialist in decorative landscape painting. Sebastiano, after early training in Venice under the little known Federico Cervelli and in Bologna under Giovanni Gioseffo dal Sole (1654–1719), received his first major commission in 1685: the decoration of two cupolas in the nave and choir of the oratory of the Madonna del Serraglio in S. Secondo Parmense. He moved to Rome in 1691 and the following year was invited to paint a large fresco of the Battle of Lepanto for the Palazzo Colonna. He was in Milan in 1694–6 but by 1696 he was back in Venice and found regular employment in the region, most notably the decoration of the nave ceiling in S. Marziale with illusionistic frescoes of the Legends of S. Martial. He was also called to Florence to work for the Grand Duke Ferdinand de'Medici: a Crucifixion for S. Francesco de'Macci, commissioned in 1704 and a ceiling fresco of Venus and Adonis, with further scenes from Ovid on the walls, for the Palazzo Pitti c.1707–8. Both in Milan and Florence he appears to have collaborated with Anton Peruzzini (1646/7–1724), an artist specializing in landscape.