RICCI, Sebastiano
(b. 1659, Belluno, d. 1734, Venezia)

General view of the Sala d'Ercole

Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence

The picture shows two walls of the Sala d'Ercole. The scene at left is the Hercules and Cacus, while at right the scene of Hercules at the Crossroads can be seen. Beside the latter the personification of Agriculture is depicted as a painted sculpture. Above the door to the foyer is a cardinal virtue and directly above this personification hovers the figure of Mercury.

The largest room on the ground floor is the Sala d'Ercole, a hall with two window bays. It has three entrances and presents an elaborate painted decoration extending across all four walls and the entire ceiling. The decoration was executed with the collaboration of Giuseppe Tonelli (1668-1732), one of the best known quadratura painters in Florence. The pictorial program contains the Labours and Apotheosis of Hercules. Two adjacent rooms have oil paintings with Amor punito and Amor virtutis, respectively.

In the Sala d'Ercole Ricci's fluid, elegant, and atmospheric style attains a brilliance and airiness that set him apart from all his famous contemporaries, and has been shown to anticipate features of Rococo painting.

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