He was educated at the Naples Academy of Fine Arts and received practical training at a stained-glass factory. After emigrating to the United States in 1924, he worked as a commercial artist in Pittsburgh and New York for several years. In the early 1930s he returned to Italy where he studied the frescoes of Luca Signorelli. He moved to California in 1936. He exhibited in New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Toronto, and taught at Yale, the Art Students' League of New York, and UCLA. He is best known for his series of paintings on "The Crucifixion."
Lebrun was born in 1900 in Naples, Italy. He initially studied banking and journalism before taking art classes at the Naples Academy of Art from 1919 to 1921. Following this he went to Florence, where he studied as a muralist.
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1936–37)
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1937–38)
- First Prize, "Abstract & Surrealist American Art", The Art Institute of Chicago (1947)
- Norman Wait Harris Silver Medal, The Art Institute of Chicago (1947)
- First Prize, "Artists of Los Angeles & Vicinity", Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1948)
- Purchase Prize, "Illinois National Exhibition of Contemporary Painting", University of Illinois (1949)
- Second Prize, "American Painting Today", The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1950)
- Award of Merit of the American Academy of Arts & Letter for "Outstanding achievement in the past five years in paintings" (1953)
- Temple Gold Medal, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1953)
- Lippincott Prize, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1962)
- Elected into the National Academy of Design (1962)
- Purchase Award, "Third Biennial National Print Exhibit", Pasadena Art Museum (1962)
- Joseph Pennell Award, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1963)
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1962–63)
- the Museum of Modern Art, New York,
- the Los Angeles County Museum of Art,
- the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
- the Whitney Museum of American Art,
- The Jewish Museum, New York,
- the North Carolina Museum of Art,
- the Pomona College Museum of Art,
- the Santa Barbara Museum of Art,
- the Vincent Price museum of Art,
- the Harvard Art Museum,
- the Museo ItaloAmericano, and
- the Claremont Museum of Art.
- "Drawings by Rico Lebrun - News - The Harvard Crimson". www.thecrimson.com.
- "Drawings by Rico Lebrun at the Mirski Gallery". The Harvard Crimson. September 27, 1963. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- Menil collection (Houston, Tex.).; Eva Hesse; Drawing center (New York).; Drawing Center (New York, N.Y.), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, Minn.)., Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, Calif.) (2006). Eva Hesse Drawing. Yale University Press. pp. 52–. ISBN 0-300-11618-7.
- "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation - Rico Lebrun". www.gf.org.
- "Rico Lebrun - Biography". rogallery.com.
- Fine Arts Patrons of Newport Harbor (1964). Rico Lebrun: an exhibition organized by the Fine Arts Patrons of Newport Harbor in collaboration with the Newport Harbor Service League. Presented at the following participating galleries: Pavilion Gallery, Newport Beach, California, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, Colo., Portland Art Museum, Portland, Ore.
- Ellen C. Oppler; Joe and Emily Lowe Art Gallery (Syracuse University) (1983). Rico Lebrun: transformations/transfiguration, "--changing what is disfigured into what is transfigured" : 13 November 1983-18 January 1984, Joe and Emily Lowe Art Gallery, Syracuse University, School of Art, College of Visual and Performing Arts. The Gallery.
- Art Direction. Advertising Trade Publications. 1962.
- "Rico Lebrun - MoMA". www.moma.org.
- "Rico Lebrun - LACMA Collections". collections.lacma.org.
- "Whitney Museum of American Art: Rico Lebrun". collection.whitney.org.
- "The Jewish Museum". thejewishmuseum.org.
- "Rico Lebrun". 19 December 2014.
- "Rico LEBRUN - Artists - eMuseum". collections.sbma.net.
- "Vincent Price Art Museum - Collections". vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
- "Art for viewers' sake". 16 April 2014.
- "Lebrun, Rico – Women at the Cross - Museo Italo Americano".
- "Permanent Collection - Claremont Museum of Art". claremontmuseum.org.