Francisco Ribalta

Francisco Ribalta - 1

  • Date of birth: 2 June 1565
  • Date of death: 14 Jan 1628
  • Country: Spain


Francisco Ribalta – Spanish painter, experienced strong influence of other great masters of the Renaissance. He was born in 1565, that is, between the end of the Late Renaissance, and had the opportunity to get acquainted with the creative heritage of a large number of artists who lived and labored before him.

It is believed that Ribalta was one of the first to use a specific technique of chiaroscuro, developed by Caravaggio. After him in this style of work has become a lot of Spanish, but in the work of Ribalta this trend was observed for the first time.

In his work Ribalta was based on the achievements of the major artists of his era. In his paintings the influence of Titan of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci and Jacopo Bassano, and Sebastiano del Piombo. Picture Ribalta “Saint Luke” is his self-portrait. In it is hidden a double meaning – the Evangelist Luke was a painter, and is the patron Saint of painters. Usually he is depicted as an old man, and Reality he is a middle-aged man with an expressive face, which, combined with the characteristic pose and gives reason to suspect the painting a self-portrait.

About my personal life masters very little is known. He was born in the family of a tailor in the foot and ankle – a small town in Catalonia. When the boy was seven years old, he and his family moved to the current capital of Catalonia – Barcelona. Even after nine years, his father died, then the future artist moved to Madrid. In the capital of Spain he studied painting at the famous master Juan fernández Navarrete.

About the strong influence of technique of Caravaggio can be judged by the painting 1620, “St. Francis embracing the crucified Christ”. The fabric is very like the works of Caravaggio, but the only way of dealing with chiaroscuro. It all pieces immersed in a deep, velvety darkness, lit only certain parts. Basically, it’s shining in the moonlight naked body of Christ and the distorted by suffering face of St. Francis. Interestingly, the subject of the painting – a complete anachronism. These two could not meet in life, among them about 1200 years. On the canvas shows the moment of spiritual unity of the Holy and God – the crucified and loyal so loved by them.

To 1599 Ribalta worked in the artistic field in Madrid, after moved to Valencia. Among his friends were the great Spanish playwright Lope de VEGA, which indicates a fairly high position in wizard society. Like most artists of the time, had its own school where he studied became famous masters: josé de Ribera and jerónimo Jacinto de Espinosa. His own son also became a famous master. Juan Ribalta was distinguished for a unique writing style, but to develop his talent prevented early death. He survived his father only nine months.

The master himself died at the age of 63 years. Leaf Ribalta are the world’s best museums, including the Hermitage. He is an internationally recognized artist, one of the great painters, for many centuries famous Spanish art.