Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Holy Trinity

Title: Holy Trinity

Artist: Jusepe de Ribera

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 226 × 118 cm

Date: 1636

Location: Museo del Prado, Madrid.

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity teaches the unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three persons in one Godhead. In this painting Ribera has depicted the three in their traditional guises: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the dove of the Holy Spirit.

Ribera was a great exponent of Caravaggism, and his rise to prominence in Naples further entrenched Caravaggism as the dominant mode there. With the Holy Trinity, however, he had moved further from Caravaggio's example, lightening his palette and increasing the painterliness of his brushwork. Ribera still employed the distinct shift between light and dark, most notably around the figure of Jesus, which allows the nimbus around God the Father to radiate.

Jusepe de Ribera (January 12, 1591 - September 2, 1652) was a Spanish painter and printmaker, also known in Spanish as José de Ribera. Almost nothing is known of his training in Spain, although it is possible, as some experts have suggested, that he had some contact with Francisco Ribalta. In Italy, where all his mature work was done, he was known as Giuseppe Ribera or Lo Spagnoletto, "the Little Spaniard". By 1644 he was so renowned that he was knighted by the pope.

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