Giovanni Battista Ricci

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Giovanni Battista Ricci and Cristoforo Greppi, frescos in San Francesco a Ripa, Rome

Giovanni Battista Ricci (Novara, circa 1537 – Rome, 1627) nicknamed Il Novara after his birth town, was an Italian painter of the late-Mannerist and early-Baroque period, active mainly in Rome.


Ricci moved to Rome from his native Piedmont during the papacy of Gregory XIII and was registered with the guild of painters by 1581. He was active in the fresco decoration (1590-1593) of the Scala Sancta in Santa Maria Maggiore, in the decoration (1597-1613) of San Marcello, and (1619) Santa Maria in Traspontina. He was influenced by Federico Zuccari.[1] He also painted in the Vatican Library and the church of Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini.[2] In 1617-1620, Ricci collaborated with Cristoforo Greppi, a painter from Lombardy, in designing and painting the frescoes for the Castellani Chapel in San Francesco a Ripa.[3] Ricci and his assistants executed several frescoes and paintings in the church of San Giacomo Scossacavalli in Borgo, destroyed in 1937.[4] Ricci was an excellent draftsman, working primarily in pen and brown ink, although a handful of studies in chalk are also known.[5]


  1. ^ Enciclopedia Treccani entry.
  2. ^ Novara short biography.
  3. ^ Giovan Battista Ricci and Cristoforo Greppi at the Castellani Chapel in S. Francesco a Ripa, Rome. Burlington Magazine, Volume 145, #1202 (May, 2003), page 366-370.
  4. ^ Cambedda, Anna (1990). La demolizione della Spina dei Borghi (in Italian). Roma: Fratelli Palombi Editori. p. 50. ISSN 0394-9753.
  5. ^ R. Eitel-Porter, "Giovanni Battista Ricci da Novara" in: Disegno, giudizio e bella maniera. Studi sul disegno italiano in onore di Catherine Monbeig Goguel, edited by P. Costamagna, F. Harb, and S. Prosperi Valenti Rodino, Silvana Editoriale, Cinisello Balsamo (Milan), 2005, pp. 108-109