Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1761-1808 - Oxford Street (Westminster)

Painter Biagio Rebecca was born in 1734/5 at Osimo in Ancona. He studied at the Accademia di San Luca, Rome, and while there he met Benjamin West, who remained his lifelong friend. Rebecca went to England in 1761. On 31 January 1769 he was among the first students to enter the Royal Academy Schools and was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1771.

He was one of the artists who worked on the decoration of the new rooms at Somerset House. He designed the admission ticket for the first performance of the Handel Commemoration in Westminster Abbey on 26 May 1784 and contributed illustrations for John Bell’s The Poets of Great Britain (1779/88).

Rebecca was especially skilled in decorative painting and worked for the Adam brothers, for James and Samuel Wyatt, and for Henry Holland. With West he was employed at Windsor Castle. Reduced to poverty during his last years, Rebecca obtained a pension from the Royal Academy and died at his lodgings in Oxford Street in February 1808. His son John Biagio Rebecca was an architect.

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