Born in Lucca, a pupil at the local Istituto di Belle Arti, Ezio Ricci showed an early talent for real life painting, as can be seen in works such as “Donne che pregano” (Praying Women), painted in 1903, and “Ritratto della nonna” (Portrait of my grandmother), 1907.

In 1916 he was appointed professor of the decorative arts at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Perugia, where he spent seven years working hard but happily. Some of his best works date to this period, with subjects taken from the family and home, indicative of his discovery of an intimate style. A good example is the large “Interno” (Interior), 1922, which shows a young woman quietly doing her embroidery with a vase of marguerites nearby.

In 1923 he returned to Lucca to teach as professor of the decorative arts at the Istituto di Belle Arti that following the Gentile Reform of art education became the Istituto d’Arte. His style shows his new interest in the 20th century movement “Contadinelle toscane” (Young Peasant Women from Tuscany), 1925. But most of his works dating to this period are in private collections and have been lost. In 1929 he obtained the post of professor of mural painting and director of the Istituto d’Arte, the latter post he kept until 1961.

At the same time as teaching Ezio Ricci continued to paint and during the 50’s exhibited at numerous exhibitions all over Italy. Of note are the 1923 Turin Quadrennial, the 1926 “Esposizione Nazionale di Roma”, the “Mostra Regionale d’Arte Toscana di Firenze” in 1931 and 1942 and the 1955 “Mostra internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma”. In addition he was given many personal exhibitions in Lucca the last of which in 1980 was posthumous.

Written by: Gioela Massagli – Translated by: Catherine Biggerstaff

© Studio d’Arte dell’800