Ribera: Art of Violence

Sep 26, 2018 - Jan 27, 2019

Exhibition Overview

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Jusepe de Ribera, Saint Sebastian Tended to by the Holy Women, 1621.

Ribera: Art of Violence is the first UK show of work by the Spanish Baroque painter, draughtsman and printmaker, Jusepe de Ribera (1591–1652), displaying his most sensational, shocking and masterfully composed works.

Ribera is one of the titans of Spanish Baroque art. Born in Valencia, Spain, Ribera emigrated to Italy as a young artist in 1606. He spent most of his career in Naples, where he influenced many artists including Salvator Rosa and Luca Giordano. He is often regarded as the heir to Caravaggio for his dramatic use of light and shadow, and his practice of painting directly from the live model.

Bringing together loans from seven different countries, this ground-breaking exhibition explores, for the first time, an aspect of Ribera’s art for which he was renowned: violent depictions of saints and figures being flayed and flogged. Ribera’s images of pain can be shocking, and he has historically been labelled as sadistic and violent. Challenging this long-standing interpretation, this show reveals the complex artistic, religious and cultural discourses underpinning the artist’s violent imagery in his paintings, prints and drawings.

(Photo courtesy of the Dulwich Picture Gallery.)

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