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ANTONIO ZUCCHI, A.R.A. (1726-1795)
  • ANTONIO ZUCCHI, A.R.A. (1726-1795)


    Pen and brown ink with grey wash, heightened with white (oxidised)

    33.7 x 27.9 cm



    Anonymous Sale, Christie's, London, 28.07.2009, Lot 112 (as Circle of Hubert Robert);

    Private collection, Southeast England




    Antonio Zucchi was born in Venice and studied first under his uncle Carlo Zucchi and later under Francesco Fontebasso and Jacopo Amigoni. Zucchi began his career as a history painter, and was elected a member of the Accademia di Pittore e Scultore in Venice in 1759. A pivotal moment came in 1760 when the young Zucchi was introduced to the architect James Adam by Charles-Louis Clérisseau, who had been employed as Adam's drawing master and was held in the highest regard by the Englishman.


    Zucchi went on to paint a portrait of Adam, now in the Victoria & Albert Museum, and Adam immediately tried to persuade Zucchi to return with him to London to work for his architectural practice. Having declined at first, Zucchi travelled to London with his brother Giuseppe three years after this, in 1766, and became Adams' chief decorative painter. He painted numerous illustrations from the classics for ceiling designs, arabesque scenes and large landscape capriccios which adorned the fashionable architect’s grand country houses for the English nobility and spread Zucchi’s name far and wide with considerable alacrity. 


    Having earned a stellar reputation working for Adam, Zucchi was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1770, and continued to work on numerous important Adams commissions including Kenwood, Newby Hall, Osterley Park, Nostell Priory, Luton House and Saltram House. During his time in England, Zucchi met Angelica Kauffman, who he went on to marry. The couple moved to Rome shortly before Zucchi’s death. The chief legacy of their marriage was Zucchi’s detailed records of his wife’s career, which provide an early biography for the renowned artist. 

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