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

Morra Players

1640s
Oil on canvas, 76 x 111 cm
Private collection

The Morra Players was painted during Ricchi's time in Bergamo, and in any case after his return from France. His output at this moment was defined by figures presented in strong chiaroscuro that seem to stand out markedly from the background, at once influenced by French Caravaggism, which typically used candles as a source of light, and by the work of the Milanese painter Morazzone.

The composition of the Morra Players and its emphatic use of chiaroscuro to describe profiles and salient points of physiognomy, finds a number of echoes in paintings from the artist's Bergamo period. One parallel lies in his choice of physical types: aged, humble figures are shown with very long fingers, highly prominent chins, and eyes half-absorbed by the penumbra, while the faces of the young people have more regular, almost suave features.