Jose de Ribera

Jose de Ribera - 1

  • Date of birth: January 12, 1591
  • Date of death: 2 September 1652
  • Country: Spain


Jose (husepe) de Ribera was born in 1591 in Xativa, Spain. It is called Spagnoletto or “the little Spaniard”. The nickname he got because he lived and worked in Naples, Italy.

It belongs to caravaggists, that is, the period in painting, the following principles of image, laid Caravaggio and his disciples, followers. This style is characterized by the use of sharp contrast of light and shade in the images using a very dark background and marked the lighting of the figures in the foreground, making them more voluminous and expressive.

De Ribera was not only a talented painter, but also a very well-known schedule. It is considered the largest Spanish schedule, worked to Francisco Goya. He left many works, most of which is in the Prado Museum, as well as in the churches of Naples.

Data about the young years of the artist’s disparate. There is evidence that he studied drawing at F. Ribalta and around 1613 he moved to Italy. In Rome and Parma, he, as was customary in those days, learned the skill, copying and studying the work of recognized talents of the past centuries.

In 1616 he married a Neapolitan and settled in this city. Most of his extant work is dated to the period of residence in Naples. It is worth adding that the city at that time actually belonged to Spain, composed the Kingdom of Sicily.

As about the identity of Caravaggio, as well as about the de Ribera went to many rumors and legends. People were impressed with the unique ability to realistically convey the suffering of people. His paintings were very expressive and naturalistic. If we add to this traditional expression of karavadzhistov and traditions of tenebrism, it becomes clear why there are such rumors.

De Ribera skillfully mastered the modeling of contours using light and shadow, besides, he had worked for many years in prisons, where they observed the interrogation and torture of people, making drawings and sketches. As Michelangelo before him, on de Ribera were rumors that he tortured and even killed sitters to get the most accurate picture of misery.

In the artist’s works can be traced the tendency to religious, mythological and historical themes. But with age, his manner of painting undergoes a change. He uses light and color disappears hard contrast, appear more soft shadows, lunar and solar shades colors. Works often gain in volume due to the use of the relief of the paint layer. The master used sharp, dramatic brush strokes a hard brush to give the canvas the expression.

One of the most famous paintings is “the Holy Inessa and angel covers her with a blanket,” written in 1641, in the later years of creativity. It is typical for the Baroque and is fully consistent with the approach de Ribera to such images. It is filled with soft, Golden hues, expressiveness and realism, impressive original composition with an accentuated diagonal, giving the static image a dynamic.

The master died in 1652 in Naples.