A town by the river

Marco Ricci1723-1730

Te Papa

Te Papa
Wellington, New Zealand

Born to a family of Venetian artists, Marco Ricci first studied with his famous uncle Sebastiano Ricci. After murdering a gondolier in a brawl, Marco fled to Dalmatia, where he spent four years apprenticed to a landscape painter. By 1705 he was in Milan working with Alessandro Magnasco, absorbing his free handling of paint. After trips to Florence and Rome, he went to the Netherlands and studied Dutch landscape painting on his way to England. During nearly two years in London, he created opera sets and decorated private homes. Back in Venice in 1716, Marco continued his stage work and painted landscape backgrounds for Sebastiano's works. Around 1720 he made small landscapes in tempera on leather. Whether small or large, capriccio or ancient ruins, Marco united the simplicity and realism of Dutch and Flemish art with the fantasies of the Baroque stage, a key development in Venetian landscape art. He was also one of the first etchers in eighteenth-century Venice; his <em>Experimenta</em> prints were published posthumously in 1730. He may have committed suicide dressed in a bizarre costume and hung with a sword so that he could die "like a cavaliere."

This picturesque and atmospheric print of an imaginary town by a river is one of 20 etchings in the above 'Experimenta' series. Its title <em>Varia Marci Ricci pictoris praestantissimi experimenta </em>can be translated as 'Several experiments by the excellent artist Marco Ricci'. This impression is from the second state of the etching.

See: Wikipedia, 'Marco Ricci', https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marco_Ricci

Dr Mark Stocker     Curator, Historical International Art     June 2017


  • Title: A town by the river
  • Creator: Marco Ricci (printmaker)
  • Date Created: 1723-1730
  • Physical Dimensions: Image: 350mm (width), 246mm (height)
  • Provenance: Gift of Sir John Ilott, 1968
  • Subject Keywords: Rivers | Horses | Boats | Buildings | Italy | Italian | Rococo
  • Rights: No Known Copyright Restrictions
  • External Link: Te Papa Collections Online
  • Medium: etching
  • Support: paper
  • Depicted Location: Italy
  • Registration ID: 1968-0001-39

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