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Capriccio with columns and a statue seen under an arch
Etching printed on paper, pre-publication proof
Bought from the Rylands Fund, 2005
Ricci worked as a painter, printmaker and stage designer, principally in Venice but also in England (1708-16).
This is one of a set of twenty landscape prints, etched by Ricci probably in the mid-1720s, which helped formulate an eighteenth-century style of landscape etching in Italy based on seventeenth century precedents. Several portray classicizing landscapes with ancient ruins and broken statuary, while others are wilder landscapes that seem to overwhelm their human inhabitants, rather in the manner of Salvator Rosa. The set was first published a year after the artist's death by Carlo Orsolini in Venice, with a titlepage and a portrait of Ricci, and each print bearing a dedication to a different Venetian personage. This proof of the eighth print in the series was printed before the addition of the number and the separately engraved inscription plate dedicated to Gerard Sagredo. It is only in such pre-publication impressions that Ricci's fine etchings are seen at their freshest.
This was the first etching by Ricci to enter the Fitzwilliam Museum's collection where it complements fine holdings of eighteenth-century Italian views etched by Canaletto and Piranesi.