Inventory number
P02506
Author
Ribera, José de
Title
The Old Usurer
Chronology
1638
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimensions
76 cm x 62 cm
School
Spanish
Theme
Portrait
On display
Yes
Provenance
Legacy of Xavier Laffitte y Charlesteguy, 1930

In this depiction that some have interpreted as an allegory of avarice, an old usurer, with wrinkled face, ragged clothes, an annoyed gaze and a distrustful expression, holds a set of scales, probably for weighing gold.

In the sixteen thirties, Ribera's style grew closer to that of the Venetians and Bolognese painters, yet this work affirms his continuing relation to Caravaggio's naturalism. This is especially clear in the rendering of the scales and of the old woman's figure. Unlike his youthful works, though, this one is characterized by rapid, intense brushstrokes.

 
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