José Ribera, Printmaker

March 16–May 28, 2006

The Valencian José Ribera (1591-1652) was one of the leading artists of the Spanish Golden Age. He moved to Italy when he was very young, settling in Naples in 1616. His art, influenced by Caravaggio’s painting, attained enormous success in Naples thanks to the protection of the Spanish Viceroys. In the late1610s, Ribera expanded his artistic interest from painting to print-making. His activity as a printmaker was brief in duration and scarce in production; however, it also was rich in achievements. Shortly after his arrival in Naples, he started to produce prints, and by 1630 he had completed all but one of the 18 prints—of extraordinary beauty and quality—which can be ascribed to him today. Ribera’s prints, imbued with dramatic intensity and executed with extraordinary ability, are rare examples of Spanish art, in which the etching tradition is almost non-existent. The Meadows Museum owns six prints by Ribera that will be displayed for the first time in the Jake and Nancy Hamon Galleries and will be studied in the context of the Meadows paintings from the Spanish Golden Age, as well as the temporary exhibition Juan van der Hamen y León and the Court of Madrid.

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