"Sebastiano Ricci enjoyed an international reputation. He worked all over Italy, Austria and France and, from 1712-1716, in England, mainly painting walls and ceilings with decorative schemes. His patrons included Queen Anne and Lord Burlington. Ricci, described by an English contemporary as ""a lusty man, inclinable to fat"", is said to have left England in disgust when the commission to decorate St. Paul's was given to James Thornhill, a native Protestant.

As the rebels are driven from the heavens by St. Michael, they acquire demonic features - angelic wings become more like bats' wings."


  • Title: The Fall of the Rebel Angels
  • Creator Lifespan: 1659 - 1734
  • Date: c. 1720
  • Physical Dimensions: w680 x h820 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Notes: Five drawings at Windsor and one at Venice, Accademia, are related. These came from Consul Smith's collection and he may have owned DPG134 as well. The drawings date from c. 1720.NOT IN GPI, MAR, 2003.
  • Work Nationality: Italian
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: ?Marshal Schulenburg, 1738; London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811.
  • Further Information: Sebastiano Ricci portrays the War in Heaven, as described in the Book of Revelation. Archangel Michael leads the angels of Heaven against the rebel angels, who follow Satan. Ricci portrays with great exuberance the moment when St. Michael drives the fallen angels from Heaven. The light radiating from the upper left quadrant illuminates St. Michael while casting the fallen angels into darkness, offering a poignant juxtaposition between virtue and vice. There are works relating to this composition at Windsor and in the Galleria dell'Accademia, Venice.
  • Artist: Ricci, Sebastiano
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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