RICCHI, Pietro
(b. 1606, Lucca, d. 1675, Udine)


Italian painter. He trained in Florence with Domenico Passignano and in Bologna with Guido Reni, and then travelled to Provence, to Lyon and to Paris. This period in France, of which nothing is known, ended c. 1634, when Ricchi moved to Milan and to Brescia, where his earliest surviving work, the Virgin and Saints, is in the Museo Diocesano. His style is still tentative in this but has achieved greater maturity in the St Raymund of Pennafort (1641; Bergamo, San Bartolomeo), in the Assumption of the Virgin (1644; Trento, Santa Maria Maggiore) and above all in the Massacre of the Innocents (1647; Bergamo, Santa Maria Materdomini). There, under the influence of early 17th-century Lombard art, he developed a more expressive style and more dramatic effects of chiaroscuro. In the frescoes of the Life of the Virgin (Pontoglio, parish church) he was influenced by the flamboyantly Baroque narrative style of Giovanni Giacomo Barbelli (1590-1656).

He worked in Venice in the 1650s, and left in the Veneto his most sumptuous compositions, influenced by Veronese, the Virgin Appearing to a Member of the Querini Family (1657; Rovigo, Santuario della Rotonda) and the Adoration of the Magi (1658; Venice, San Pietro di Castello), distinguished by their dramatic lighting and iridescent colour. In c. 1660-63 he frescoed the vault of San Giuseppe a Castello, Venice, with St Joseph in Glory and in 1663 worked in Vicenza. In Venice he was influenced by Francesco Maffei and Pietro Liberi, exchanged ideas with Nicolas Regnier and responded to the Florentine style of Sebastiano Mazzoni.

His late works, such as the Ecstasy of St Francis (c. 1660; Lucca, San Francesco) and the Ecstasy of St Teresa (c. 1665; Udine, Museo Civico), are characterized by a mannered elegance, yet retain their brilliant colour and refined figure style. Ricchi probably worked in Udine in the last years of his life.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.