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Sebastiano Conca (Gaeta 1680 - Naples 1764)

Born at Gaeta in 1680, Conca moved to Naples in 1690 where he was apprenticed to Francesco Solimena. In 1706 he settled in Rome, coming under the influence of Carlo Maratta, know for his classical academic style. Conca’s first public commission was the painting of Our Lady of the Rosary in the Church of Santa Sabina, executed for Cardinal Ferrari in 1714. Pope Clement XI greatly admired his work and assigned to him part of the decoration of the newly-built Church of San Clemente (Miracle of St. Clement) and of the nave of St. John Lateran (Prophet Jeremiah). Between 1721 and 1724 he frescoed the vault of the Basilica of Santa Cecilia with a magnificent Coronation of Santa Cecilia, a commission procured by Cardinal Acquaviva d’Aragona.
In about 1710 he set up his own Accademia del Nudo, which attracted numerous young artists. In 1714 he was elected to the Accademia dei Virtuosi at the Pantheon and in 1718 to the Accademia di San Luca, of which he was director or principe from 1729 to 1731 and again from 1739 to 1741. Through the offices of Filippo Juvarra, he executed numerous paintings for the royal house of Savoy, and in 1732, during his stay in Tuscany, he painted frescoes of Probatica, or the Pool of Siloam, in the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena. He left Rome in 1752 to return to Naples, where he died in 1764.

Alessandro Zuccari