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Saint Paul the Hermit
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Saint Paul the Hermit
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

The thin naked torso, the cloth made from rushes, the skull and the book suggest that the figure in the painting is a hermit; the bread crust in the foreground tells us that it is Saint Paul, the first hermit, who was brought half a loaf of bread every day by a raven.

The penitent Saint Jerome
Oil on canvas. 1652
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
The penitent Saint Jerome
Oil on canvas. 1652
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

Emerging from a dark background, a half-length image of a man appears in the close foreground, his right shoulder and arm bare, his hair white and long, his features aged. He holds a wooden cross in his left hand and with his right he strikes his chest with a stone. The cross identifies him as a saint; his nakedness and dishevelled appearance indicate he is a hermit or a penitent; the stone with w

Saint Mary of Egypt
Oil on canvas. 1641
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Saint Mary of Egypt
Oil on canvas. 1641
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

The painting is among a group of eight full-length single-figure composition of saints by Ribera that in 1658 were in the Madrid collection of Don Jerónimo de la Torre, a member of the Royal Council and secretary of State of Flanders. The series included four pictures that are now in the Prado -this Saint Mary of Egipt, Saint John the Baptist in the Desert (P01108), Mary Magdalene (P01103)

Saint Joseph and the Christ Child
Oil on canvas. 1630 - 1635
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Saint Joseph and the Christ Child
Oil on canvas. 1630 - 1635
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

Saint Joseph holds a flowered staff. He is accompanied by the Christ Child, who offers him a basket with carpentry tools, alluding to the saint´s profession. The worship of Saint Joseph was especially favored by the Council of Trent and devotion to him became especially widespread in Spain, where numerous paintings were also made. The technique used in this painting, with outstanding chiaros

Penitent Magdalen
Oil on canvas. 1641
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Penitent Magdalen
Oil on canvas. 1641
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

Traditionally identified as the woman who was a sinner and wept on Christ’s feet and wiped away her tears with her hair (Luke 7:36-50), Mary Magdalene is shown here as the hermit saint she became upon giving up her life of moral decadence, after her encounter with the Savior. She kneels in prayer at the entrance to her cave and raises her eyes to heaven, eyes that are perhaps disproportionately la

Saint Bartholomew
Oil on canvas. 1641
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Saint Bartholomew
Oil on canvas. 1641
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

The saint in this painting can be identified by the knife in his right hand - the tool with which he was skinned. The work is part of a set of four hermits, although it is unusual to see this saint represented in a penitent manner, in a landscape, devoting himself to meditation and contemplation. The painting is among a group of eight full-length single-figure composition of saints by Ribera that

Saint Sebastian
Oil on canvas. 1636
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Saint Sebastian
Oil on canvas. 1636
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

Over the course of his career, Jusepe de Ribera Spanish repeatedly explored certain devotional subjects, among them Saint Bartholomew, Mary Magdalene, Saint Jerome, and Saint Sebastian. The latter is a recurring figure whom Ribera depicted both in the traditional manner, pierced by multiple arrows, and in the less-frequent presentation, being cured of the resulting wounds by Saint Irene. Ribera´s

Saint Bartholomew
Oil on canvas. 1630 - 1635
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Saint Bartholomew
Oil on canvas. 1630 - 1635
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

Series of Apostles became very popular during the Counter-reformation; they were usually half-length figures against a neutral background, holding their iconographical attributes. One of the most important series is the one that Ribera painted around 1630. It is mentioned for the first time in the Royal Collection towards the end of the eighteenth century and is made up of paintings of varying qua

Liberation of Saint Peter
Oil on canvas. 1639
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Liberation of Saint Peter
Oil on canvas. 1639
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

Saint Peter lies in prison where his sleep is interrupted by an angel who frees him. This subject allows Ribera to create a work in which he can show the very best of his mature style. The work combines his naturalist style with strong chiaroscuro effects and with the warm palette that Ribera used increasingly in the last years of the 1630s. This painting forms a pair with Jacob’s Dream (P-1117) w

Figure of a Woman
Oil on canvas. 1636
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Figure of a Woman
Oil on canvas. 1636
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

This work is a fragment of a painting that showed the visit of the god of wine to mortals, as is Detail of the Head of Bacchus (P-1123) and another painting in Bogotá. The work, based on an Hellenistic relief, may have formed a pair with A Sacrifice to Bacchus by Massimo Stanzione (P-259).

Saint Thomas
Oil on canvas. 1630 - 1635
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Saint Thomas
Oil on canvas. 1630 - 1635
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

Series of Apostles became very popular during the Counter-reformation; they were usually half-length figures against a neutral background, holding their iconographical attributes. One of the most important series is the one that Ribera painted around 1630. It is mentioned for the first time in the Royal Collection towards the end of the eighteenth century and is made up of paintings of varying qua

The Martyrdom of Saint Philip
Oil on canvas. 1639
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
The Martyrdom of Saint Philip
Oil on canvas. 1639
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

According to sources from antiquity and The Golden Legend (a 13th-century book that narrates the lives of saints), the apostle Philip preached the Gospel in Scythia and was crucified in the city of Hierapolis. His martyrdom has rarely been represented -the best known depiction is Filippino Lippi’s (1457-1504) fresco at the Strozzi Chapel in the Florentine church of Santa Maria Novella- but it usua

Isaac and Jacob
Oil on canvas. 1637
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Isaac and Jacob
Oil on canvas. 1637
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

This painting narrates an event from chapter 27 of Genesis, in which Jacob tricks his father, Isaac, in order to obtain the blessing that should rightfully go to his older brother, Esau. Jacob’s mother, Rebecca, helps him dress in Esau’s clothes and cover his arm with a sheepskin that resembles his brother’s abundant body hair. He then takes food to his elderly, blind father, Isaac, thus inducing

Penitent Magdalene
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Penitent Magdalene
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

Mary Magdalene is depicted half-length, in a pensive and melancholy mood. She rests her head on a skull that symbolizes the brevity of earthly life. A jar of salve, her characteristic attribute, appears in the foreground. In keeping with traditional iconography, she wears a sackcloth garment against her bare skin and her long hair hangs free. Representations of Mary Magdalene were very popular in

Saint John the Baptist in the Desert
Oil on canvas. 1641
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Saint John the Baptist in the Desert
Oil on canvas. 1641
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

The painting is among a group of eight full-length single-figure composition of saints by Ribera that in 1658 were in the Madrid collection of Don Jerónimo de la Torre, a member of the Royal Council and secretary of State of Flanders. The series included four pictures that are now in the Prado -this Saint John the Baptist in the Desert, Mary Magdalene (P01103), Saint Mary of Egipt (P01106)

Saint Paul the Hermit
Oil on canvas. 1640
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Saint Paul the Hermit
Oil on canvas. 1640
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

Saint Paul, the first hermit, is shown meditating before a skull in solitude. This work dates from the final stage of Ribera’s career, which, in contrast to the darkness of his early years, is a phase of greater brightness and a wider range of colours.

Saint James the Less
Oil on canvas. 1630 - 1635
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Saint James the Less
Oil on canvas. 1630 - 1635
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

Series of Apostles became very popular during the Counter-reformation; they were usually half-length figures against a neutral background, holding their iconographical attributes. One of the most important series is the one that Ribera painted around 1630. It is mentioned for the first time in the Royal Collection towards the end of the eighteenth century and is made up of paintings of varying qua

Jacob’s Dream
Oil on canvas. 1639
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Jacob’s Dream
Oil on canvas. 1639
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

This painting tells of Jacob the Patriarch´s mysterious dream, as told in Genesis. He appears asleep, lying on his left shoulder with a tree behind him. On the other side is the ladder of light, by which the angels ascend and descend. This subject demonstrates Ribera´s skill at constructing metaphoric discourse. He uses the image of a shepherd resting in the countryside to describe one of the best

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