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Exhibition September 26, 2018 − January 13, 2019

Ribera Art of cruelty

Realistic paintings of Neapolitan painter of Spanish origin, José de Ribera, are often full of scenes of execution, torture and violence. The master himself, to all appearances, often visited the places of public torment of heretics and criminals, where he made numerous sketches. Cruelty and violence in his works became the topic of a major exhibition.«Ribera Art of cruelty» at Dulge Art Gallery in South London.

The exhibition of passionate paintings, prints and drawings by Ribera will be the first major display of his works in the UK, on which curators have worked for the last seven years. Among the 45 papers received from major European and North American institutions, there are three versions «The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew»that span the entire career of a Spaniard.

These and other pictures show his realistic approach to shocking scenes. According to curator Edward Payne, Ribera was a prolific draftsman, but she sketched mainly for herself, and not as a preparation for canvases. They depict scenes of torture and executions that the artist could have witnessed. From the abundance of such drawings, it can be assumed that Ribera enjoyed such scenes.

And even if Ribera was not as soulless as the rumor portrays him, the topic of fierce rivalry was central to his work. In 1637, he portrayed the finale of the ancient Greek myth of Marcia and Apollo - God rips the skin off a satyr who dared to call him to a musical contest. The picture from the collection of the National Museum of Capodimonte in Naples, the curator called «the pinnacle of skill in an artist’s career».