Ribera: Art of Violence
26 September 2018 – 27 January 2019
This is the first UK show of work by the Spanish Baroque artist and printmaker, Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652), bringing together his most sensational, shocking and masterfully composed work.
A selection of eight monumental canvases are displayed alongside exceptional drawings and prints exploring the powerful theme of violence in Ribera’s art. Showcasing 45 works, the exhibition is arranged thematically, examining his arresting depictions of saintly martyrdom and mythological violence, skin and the five senses, crime and punishment, and the bound male figure. Many of the works are on loan from major European and North American institutions, on view in the UK for the first time.
Ribera 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. This exhibition demonstrates how his images of bodies in pain are neither the product of his supposed sadism nor the expression of a purely aesthetic interest, but rather involve a complex artistic, religious and cultural engagement in the depiction of bodily suffering.