The Painter Carlos Luis de Ribera1839. Oil on canvas, 92 x 73 cm.
Carlos Luis de Ribera y Fievé, eldest son of the neoclassical painter, Juan Antonio de Ribera, was also a painter and a friend of Federico de Madrazo, who made this portrait while both lived in Paris. It is the result of an agreement that each would paint the image of the other, and then send the works to the annual painting exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid. This is one of the finest of Federico de Madrazo´s early portraits and it follows a model that was often used by French artists such as David, Ingres or Delaroche. The model´s pose, which Madrazo was to repeat in other portraits, manages to give the personage a strongly romantic character, which is reinforced by the cape that hides the armchair. The memory of the Spanish tradition is also present and can be seen in the resolution of the folds with broad brushstrokes, as well as the perfect capturing of the model´s spirit. In keeping with this skill found in the great masters, madrazo perfectly reflects Ribera´s rather melancholy character.