Antiques -
Reference: Z6742

“Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew.” Painting on vellum. According to the model of Ribera and Cucó, José (Játiva, 1591 – Naples, 1652). The composition is organized around the diagonal drawn by the trunk of the tree to which the old man is tied. The soldier on the right is skinning him, while another figure on the left balances and harmonizes the painting. This is the way in which Bartholomew the Apostle was martyred: according to tradition, the king of Armenia Astyages ordered him to worship his idols, which he refused, ordering him to be skinned. Practically all the elements of the work can be related to the Italian school, while the composition follows common models in the Baroque of the 17th century. The coloring shows the work very far from the Caravaggesque tenebrism that was common at that time, and does not present lighting contrasts, in addition to being reminiscent of works more in line with the classicist baroque or even previous Mannerism. José de Ribera y Cucó was a painter and printmaker born in Spain who developed his entire career in Italy, where he was known as Giuseppe Ribera and by the nickname “Lo Spagnoletto.” His style evolved from the tenebrism of Caravaggio towards a much more luminous aesthetic influenced by figures such as Van Dyc, and contributed greatly to creating the “Neapolitan school” (in which Giovanni Lanfranco, Luca Guiordano... stand out). He was born in Játiva, and it is possible that he learned with Francisco Ribalta, and, while still a teenager, he went to the north of Italy (Cremona, Milan, Parma), to later go to Rome, where he came into contact with classicist works (Reni and Ludovico Carracci ); He ended up settling in Naples. His work is preserved in important private collections around the world, as well as in institutions such as the Prado Museum and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid, the Capodimonte Museum in Naples, the Louvre in Paris, etc. The work is reminiscent of an oil painting on canvas made by José de Ribera between 1617 and 1619 for Pedro Téllez Girón III, Duke of Osuna and viceroy of Naples in those years, preserved in the Museum of Sacred Art of Osuna in Seville (Antigua Collegiate Church of Osuna ). It was part of a group of five paintings (Saint Sebastian, Saint Peter the Penitent, Saint Jerome, the Angel of Judgment and The Calvary, the latter a work commissioned by the Duchess and completed in 1618) that are known in the Collegiate Church as early as April 1627. This group is considered one of the most important at the beginning of its activity. However, it is possible to relate it much more closely to another work that presents a similar composition: one of the four etchings that Ribera made between 1624 and 1628: the one of the “Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew” is signed, dated (1624) and dedicated to the Prince Manuel Filiberto of Savoy, nephew of Philip III and viceroy of Sicily. In this engraving and the work on vellum, a figure on the left faces the viewer, holding two staffs in his hands; The saint looks up, with his arms tied above his head, bent, and his legs drawn up, while a man skins him, holding a knife in his mouth; On the vellum, however, the male figures on the right that are in the engraving are not presented; The sky is also different. As already noted, the main differences are color and lighting, which place the present work closer to baroque classicist currents.

· Size: 10,5x15 cms. / 22x26,5 cms.

4.000 €

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