This winter, the Prado Museum is backing the great Spanish painter and printmaker, José de Ribera (Jativa, Spain 1591-Naples, Italy 1652), to show visitors the artist’s variety of drawings, his technical ability and the originality of his themes.
Ribera developed his entire career in Italy, mainly in Naples, where he was also known as Giuseppe Ribera or Lo Spagnoletto (The Little Spaniard). There, he was recognised as the great master of the Neapolitan School, where he coincided with Giovanni Lanfranco, Massimo Stanzione or Luca Giordano, among others. His naturalist style evolved from Caravaggio’s tenebrism towards a more colourist and bright style, influenced by Van Dyck and other masters.
Ribera’s work influenced several artists, such as Velázquez and Murillo, becoming a reference for realist artists like León Bonnat.
Considered to be a gloomy painter due to the theme of his paintings, in his final years he began to be seen as a versatile and colourist creator that, in reality, he also was.
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