Marco Ricci was born in 1676 in Belluno, a town north of Venice. His uncle, Sebastiano Ricci, was a Baroque painter and draughtsman. Marco’s first training in art came from his uncle in Milan and Venice. In 1696, Marco fled Venice after murdering a gondolier in a fight. He spent some time as an apprentice to a landscape painter in Dalmatia (part of present-day Croatia) and visited Rome and Florence.
In 1708, Ricci was invited to Britain by the British ambassador to Venice. On the way, he spent time in the Netherlands studying Dutch landscape painting. During his two years in London, Ricci painted scenery for operas and decoration in private homes, often working with fellow artist Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini.
Ricci returned to Venice in 1711 but accompanied his uncle to England once again in 1712. They remained in Britain for four years, working both separately and jointly on various commissions.
Marco and Sebastiano returned to Venice in 1716 and lived together until Marco’s death in 1730. His later work included landscape paintings, tempera paintings on leather, drawings, and stage designs. He was also one of the first 18th-century etchers working in Venice, and a series of his prints were published after his death.