• NameSebastiano Conca
  • Activity/Titlepainter
  • Sexmale
  • Nationality/DatesItalian, born 1676 or 1680, born 1676 or 1680, dead 1764-09-01
  • PlacesPlace of birth: Italien
    Place of death: Neapel, Italien
BiographySebastiano Conca was born in Gaeta and was
possibly of Spanish extraction. He initially
trained in Naples under the direction of Francesco
Solimena. From 1707 he was based in Rome
where he gained the patronage of Cardinal Pietro
Ottoboni, who introduced him to Pope Clement
XI. In his earliest works, like the Adoration of the
Magi from 1707 (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tours),
the influences of Giuseppe Chiari and Luca
Giordano are visible. Conca’s first important
public commission is from 1714. He was engaged
by Cardinal Tommaso Maria Ferrari to paint
for the Cappella del Rosario in San Clemente in
Rome. For the same church, Clement XI later
commissioned Conca to fresco the Miracle of St
Clement in the central nave, where he worked
together with the most renowned artists of the
day. A second papal commission was the oval medallion
of Jeremiah (1718) for the Cathedral of San
Giovanni in Laterano. In 1714 Conca entered the
Congregazione dei Virtuosi del Pantheon and
between 1710 and 1718 he held a successful private
Academy of the Nude in his home. His most
important ceiling fresco was St Cecilia in Glory,
commissioned by Cardinal Francesco Acquaviva
in 1724 for the church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere
in Rome. Conca became a member of the
Accademia di San Luca in 1718 and was elected as
its principe for two periods, 1729–32 and 1739–40.
Dating from 1740 is the Assumption of the Virgin
with St Sebastian for the academy church of
Santi Martina e Luca in Rome. Conca was much
sought after and received commissions not only
in Italy, but also from Spain, Portugal, Austria
and Poland. After Cardinal Ottoboni’s death
in 1740, and with declining demand for Conca’s
style in Rome, he moved to Naples in 1752, where
he spent the last period of his life.