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Marco Ricci was the most prominent landscape painter in Italy at the end of the 17th century. A talented scene designer, Ricci's landscapes are overtly theatrical, rather than naturalistic, and culminate in his dramatic visions of the sea. Ricci's fantastic tempests intensify the violence of elemental discord and tend irresistibly towards metaphor and moralization in their evocation of human struggle. Man's fate hangs in the balance amid the turmoil and chaos of the natural world.