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In 1686, the Duke Ranuccio II Farnese of Parma commissioned a Pietà for a new Capuchin convent.From 1687-1688, the apartments of the Parmense Duchess in Piacenza were decorated by Ricci with canvases recalling the life of the Farnese pope: Paul III.
The authenticity of the two large-size biblical scenes is confirmed by drawings which have survived in Ricci's Venetian sketch-book.The Duke employed him and assigned him a monthly salary of 25 crowns and lodging in the Farnese Palace in Rome.In 1692, he was commissioned to copy the Coronation of Charlemagne by Raphael in Vatican City, on behalf of Louis XIV, a task he finished only by 1694.Others claim Ricci's first master was Sebastiano Mazzoni.In 1678, a youthful indiscretion led to an unwanted pregnancy, and ultimately to a greater scandal, when Ricci was accused of attempting to poison the young pregnant woman to avoid marriage.The death of the Duke Ranuccio in December, 1694, who was also his protector, forced Ricci to abandon Rome for Milan, where by November of 1695 he completed frescoes in the Ossuary Chapel of the Church of San Bernardino dei Morti.
On 22 June 1697, the Count Giacomo Durini hired him to paint in the Cathedral of Monza.
In 1698, he returned to the Venetian republic for a decade.
By August 24, 1700, he frescoed the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento in the church of Santa Giustina of Padua.
From their size and form it may be assumed that these pictures adorned the walls of a large room, and on the evidence of their style they were most likely painted in the 1720's.
In the long and narrow field the artist built up his composition as a frieze; the figures are graceful and supple, their animation and vigor create a vivid rhythm, the grouping is loose but nevertheless powerful.
These works gained him fame and requests from foreign lands and showed the rising influence of Venetian painting into other regions of Italy.