Who is Juan Rizi?

Friar Juan Andrés Ricci de Guevara, known as Friar Juan Rizi (1600, Madrid – 29 November 1681, Monte Cassino) was a Spanish Benedictine monk, painter, and architect, in the Baroque style. He in addition to wrote works upon theology and geometry and may have been nominated to become a bishop.

He was the son of the Italian painter, Antonio Ricci, who had attain Spain to work on decorations for El Escorial. His brother, Francisco Rizi, was in addition to a painter. He appears to have begun his apprenticeship later than his father, but he is known to have attended the workshops of Juan Bautista Maíno as well.

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In 1627, he allied the Benedictine Order and took up quarters at Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey and apparently studied feign at the University of Salamanca. He was expelled from the Abbey in 1640, due to his strong advocacy of Castilian nationalism during the Reapers’ War. Later, he was removed from the court of Prince Balthasar Charles, where he was employed as a drawing teacher, for opposing the accord of a further Abbott made by King Philip IV.

After leaving the court, most of his exploit was the end for the various monasteries where he lived: Irache, Santo Domingo de Silos, and San Millán de la Cogolla, among others. Most of those he painted at Montserrat were drifting in a fire during the Peninsular War. In 1662, he moved to Rome and, in 1670, became a resident of Monte Cassino, where he died.

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