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Sebastiano Conca, who was born in Gaeta, in the  Kingdom of Naples, moved to Rome in 1706 to train as an artist.  He subsequently became one of the most successful painters in Rome, where his patrons included Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni.  Pope Clement XI commissioned him to paint an altarpiece for San Giovanni Laterano, Rome [when?] and subsequently knighted him.  His most important commissions included the ceiling fresco (1721-4) of  Cecilia in Glory in the newly restored basilica of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere.  He was elected as a member of the Accademia di San Luca in 1718 and twice served as its director (in 1729-31 and again 1739-41).  He published a guide to painting entitled “Ammonimenti” (Admonishments) in 1739. 

Sebastiano Conca returned to Naples in 1752, and spent the remainder of his career there.

His students included Tommaso Conca, who was the son of one of his cousins, and Gaetano LapisGiuseppe Reposati, who trained in Rome under the latter for some twelve years from ca. 1740, also frequented the circle of Sebastiano Conca at this time.


Madonna and Child with Saints (1752)

This altarpiece, which is signed by Sebastiano Conca and dated by inscription, is on the high altar of San Nicolo.  It depicts the Madonna and Child with SS Nicholas of Bari and Augustine.


St Francis receiving the Portiuncula Indulgence (ca. 1733)

This altarpiece on the high altar of San Benedetto is signed by Sebastiano Conca.  It was probably painted in 1733, just before the altar was was consecrated.  The altarpiece depicts St Francis’ vision of the Risen Christ and the Virgin in the Cappella del Portiuncula as an angel offers him roses that have miraculously bloomed in winter.


Visitation (18th century)

This panel in the sacristy of San Pietro is attributed to Sebastiano Conca.

Panels from Palazzo Della Corgna, Città della Pieve (1731)

These two panels by Sebastiano Conca in the Galleria Nazionale depict scenes from the epic poem (1581), “La Gerusalemme Liberata” (Jerusalem Delivered) by Torquato Tasso.  They depict:

  1. the knight Rinaldo leaving the besotted witch Ermida on the island to which she has lured him (illustrated here); and

  2. the Princess Erminia being cared for by shepherds.

Communion of St Mary Magdalene (1738)

This altarpiece by Sebastiano Conca, which is signed and dated by inscription, was removed from the church of Santa Maria Maddalena delle Repentute when the adjacent nunnery was suppressed in 1860.  The panel, which is is now in the Galleria Nazionale, depicts an angel administering the sacrament to the kneeling St Mary Magdalene. 


Works in or from Santa Maria della Manna d' Oro

Sebastiano Conca designed and/or painted three altarpieces for Santa Maria della Manna d' Oro, two of which survive in situ.

Rest on the Flight to Egypt (ca. 1735)

This altarpiece by Sebastiano Conca is on the 2nd altar on the left.

Annunciation (ca. 1735)

Sebastiano Conca probably designed this altarpiece on the 2nd altar on the right, which was executed by Nicolò Costantini.

Birth of the Virgin (ca. 1735)

This altarpiece by Sebastiano Conca is now in the Museo Diocesano.

Other Works in the Museo Diocesano

The following works by Sebastiano Conca are also now in the Museo Diocesano.

Holy Family (ca. 1735)

This altarpiece came from San Filippo Neri.

St Joseph and the Baby Jesus (ca. 1740)

This altarpiece came from the Cappella di San Giuseppe of San Gregorio Maggiore.   It was removed from the chapel during the re-modelling of the church in 1947-50. 

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Sebastiano Conca (1680–1764)  

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