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Jusepe de Ribera

Jusepe de Ribera, known as Spagnoletto, was born in Játiva in 1591. He trained in Valencia with Francisco Ribalta.
He probably lived in Lombardy and Emilia in about 1611.
There is evidence he was in Rome in 1613, where he executed important works such as the Five Senses series.
In 1616 he settled in Naples, possibly called there by the viceroy Conte de Osuma. His fide Riberarst works in Naples, the Apostles of the Quadreria dei Girolamini and the Holy Peter and Paul, are connected to his work in Rome.
His style is clearly inspired by Caravaggio, especially in the use of light; his paintings are dark and gloomy, with spectacular chiaroscuro effects (Drunk Silenus, now in the Capodimonte Museum of Naples, is an example).
His meeting with Velazquez (Naples, 1630) was important because it changed his style. It became quieter and more focussed on daily events. He used more lighter colours. Works from this period are: Jakob (museum of the Escoroal), Archimedes and the Apostle (Prado Museum).
Some time between 1630 and 1640 de Ribera became interested in the neo-venetian culture which was spreading in Rome at the time. This led to the canvases with Venus and Adonis, or Jakob and Isaac.
He was later commissioned some canvases by the Carthusian monastery of St Martin: the fourteen canvases with the Patriarchs and the prophets for the back of the façade and the semi-lunette in the church chapels, St Jerome and St Sebastian in the Prior’s apartment and Pietà in the Treasure chapel.
The painter grew ill in about 1640 but continued painting great masterpieces such as the Mystic Wedding of St Catherine (Metropolitan Museun of New York), the Shepherds’ Adoration (Louvre) and Communion of the Apostles of St Martin.
Jusepe de Ribera died in Naples in 1652.

 

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