Jose de Ribera

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Jose de Ribera
José de Ribera, José also spelled Jusepe, Josef, or Giuseppe, byname Lo Spagnoletto (Italian: “The Little Spaniard”) (baptized February 17, 1591, Játiva, Spain—died September 2, 1652, Naples [Italy]), Spanish painter and printmaker, noted for his Baroque dramatic realism and his depictions of religious and mythological subjects.

He was born in Spain but spent most of his life in Italy. Little is known of his life in Spain, though he is said by the painter and biographer Antonio Palomino de Castro y Velasco to have received his first training there under Francisco Ribalta. It is not known when he went to Italy, but there is evidence that as a young man he worked in Parma and Rome. In 1616 he married in Naples, then under Spanish rule, where he remained the rest of his life. In 1626 he signed as a member of the Roman Academy of St. Luke and in 1631 as a knight of the Papal Order of Christ, although he always retained his Spanish identity.

The whole of Ribera’s surviving work appears to belong to the period after he settled in Naples. His large production comprises mainly religious compositions, along with a number of classical and genre subjects and a few portraits. He did much work for the Spanish viceroys, by whom many of his paintings were sent to Spain. He was also employed by the Roman Catholic Church and had numerous private patrons of various nationalities. His paintings were widely imitated and copied in Spain. From 1621 onward there are numerous signed, dated, and documented works from Ribera’s hand.

Ribera’s paintings are austere or gloomy in mood and can be rather dramatic in their presentation. The chief elements of Ribera’s style, tenebrism (dramatic use of light and shadow) and naturalism, are used to emphasize the mental and physical suffering of penitent or martyred saints or tortured gods. Realistic detail, often horrific, is accentuated by means of coarse brush marks on thick pigment to represent wrinkles, beards, and flesh wounds. Ribera’s technique is characterized by sensitivity of outline and the sureness with which he rendered the changes from brilliant light to darkest shadow.

In addition to paintings, Ribera was one of the few 17th-century Spanish artists to produce numerous drawings, and his etchings were among the finest produced in Italy and Spain during the Baroque period.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Oil on canvas
Patronato de Art, Osuna

Sense of Taste
Oil on canvas, 117 x 88 cm
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford

St Andrew
Oil on canvas, 123 x 95 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Oil on canvas, 125 x 81 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Martyrdom of St Philip
Oil on canvas, 234 x 234 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Magdalena Ventura with Her Husband and Son
Oil on canvas, 196 x 127 cm
Museo Fondación Duque de Lerma, Toledo

The Duel of Isabella de Carazzi and Diambra de Pottinella
Oil on canvas, 235 x 212 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

St Jerome
Oil on canvas, 128,5 x 102 cm
Galleria Doria-Pamphili, Rome

St Jerome and the Angel of the Last Judgement
Oil on canvas, 262 x 164 cm
Museo e Galleria Nazionali di Capodimonte, Naples

The Martyrdom of St Andrew
Oil on canvas, 209 x 183 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

St Sebastian Tended by the Holy Women
Oil on canvas, 180,3 x 231,6 cm
Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao


Matthew with the Angel

Clubfooted Boy
Oil on canvas, 164 x 92 cm
Musee du Louvre, Paris

Apollo Flaying Marsyas
Oil on canvas, 202 x 255 cm
Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

Apollo and Marsyas
Oil on canvas, 182 x 232 cm
Museo Nazionale di San Martino, Naples

Jacob Receives Isaac's Blessing
Oil on canvas, 129 x 289 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

St Christopher
Oil on canvas, 127 x 100 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Mater Dolorosa
Oil on canvas, 77 x 64 cm
Staatliche Museen, Kassel

The Holy Family
Oil on canvas, 253 x 196 cm
Museo de Santa Cruz, Toledo

The Holy Family with St Catherine
Oil on canvas
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Jacob's Dream
Oil on canvas, 179 x 233 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid


Allegory of Touch
Oil on canvas
Norton Simon Foundation, Pasadena

St Peter
Oil on canvas, 75 x 63 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg


Landscape with Shepherds
Oil on canvas, 128 x 269 cm
Dukes of Alba, Salamanca



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