The Life of Jusepe de Ribera

Jusepe de Ribera was born on January 19, 1591 in Xativia, Spain.

His parents wished for him to eventually start a career in literacy, but Jusepe instead decided to apprentice for the Spanish artist, Francisco Ribalta. Eventually Juesepe traveled to Italy where he began to study art more steadily. While in Italy he was given the nickname “Lo Spagnoletto” or the Spaniard. Eventually he went to Naples where he was searching for his favorite artist, Caravaggio, who had been dead for over 6 years. In Naples, he met and married a woman named Catalina Azzolina India, Catalina’s father was also involved in art. Within a few years, Jusepe was one of the best known artists in Naples.

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Jusepe was bestowed with a great honor in those years, that honor was the Papal order of the Vatican, which is the same as knighthood. His paintings were eventually taken to the monarchs and Jusepe was able to move his family into an amazing estate in which Jusepe was able to build his own workshop. In the 1640’s Juespe became ill and a revolt of the Spanish citizens put the Ribera’s on a slippery slope to financial hardship. His daughter got married, but soon had to move back in after her husband’s unexpected death. In 1652, Jusepe asked the king for financial help, but Jusepe died on September 2, 1652, before the kings reply got to the family. Jusepe became known for his tenebristic art style.

The art was known for its lifelike look and somewhat dark tone. Some of Jusepe’s best known pieces of art are “The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew”, “Archimedes”, and “The Deposition.” I personally feel that Jusepe’s art is very dark and is not in any way, shape or form, the kind of art that I like. The art is very detailed which is nice to see in art but again, is very dark.