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Jusepe de Ribera called Lo Spagnoletto - vendere e comprare opere

12 January 1591, Játiva (Spain) - 2 September 1652, Naples (Italy)

Juspepe Ribera’s education began with instruction from the painter Francesc Ribara. After this, study trips took him to important Italian cities such as Rome, Parma, Modena and finally Naples, where he found a base for his life and work.

He was accepted into the circle of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome in 1613. At the start of his career the artist mingled of the followers of Caravaggio. In recognition of his artistic activity, Pedro Téllez-Girón, the Viceroy of Naples at the time, appointed him his personal Court Painter. In 1616, he married the daughter of the painter Giovanni Bernadino Azzolino, whose good contacts in the Neapolitan art scene had a positive impact on his further career. Owing to his Spanish origins, he acquired the nickname of ‘Lo Spagnoletto’. Ribera enjoyed high regard, was constantly receiving new commissions, and became the director of his own atélier. Among others, his pupils included figures such as Luca Giordando and Francesco Fracanzano.

From the 1620s onwards, Ribera was at the forefront of Neapolitan painting. His painting style proved to be ground-breaking, and influenced a series of fellow artists such as Giuseppe Marullo, Paolo Finoglio and Pietro Novelli. His works are categorised under the heading of the Neapolitan School which, from its base in Naples, had a major impact on the painting methods of other European countries. Characteristics of paintings in this body of work include naturalistic elements that are given expression in religious or folk-like scenes, often with dramatic chiaroscuro effects.

When a popular uprising broke out in Naples in 1647, the artist was compelled to sell his house and flee to the Viceroy’s palace with his family. After a lengthy illness, Ribera died in poverty in Naples in 1652.

On 17 April 2017, his painting The Mockery of Christ fetched a total price of €711,300 as part of an old masters auction.