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Ribera: Art of Violence

Ribera CatalogueDulwich Picture Gallery, London

26 September 2018 - 27 January 2019

The first UK show of the Spanish artist, Jusepe de Ribera (1591 - 1652), bringing together his monumental canvases and masterfully composed prints and drawings. An exhibition curated by Dr Edward Payne, Pemberton Fellow in Spanish Art at the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art, and Dr Xavier Bray, Director of the Wallace Collection in London.

Jusepe de Ribera (1591 - 1652) is one of the titans of Spanish Baroque art. Born in Játiva, Valencia, in eastern Spain, Ribera emigrated to Italy as a young artist in 1606. There he encountered the revolutionary paintings of Caravaggio, whose stark realism he adopted in his own works. Proud of his Spanish heritage, Ribera eventually settled in Naples, then a Spanish territory, in 1616, but never again returned to Spain. Soon after his arrival, Ribera secured the viceroys of Naples as his principal patrons. They commissioned works of art for their personal collections and also for the Spanish Crown. A hybrid figure, Ribera had a significant influence on the art of both countries.

This exhibition explores an aspect of Ribera's art for which he was renowned in his own lifetime: violent depictions of saints and figures being flayed and flogged. Ribera's images of pain can be shocking and have often been described as extreme. The artist himself has historically been labelled as sadistic and violent. Challenging this long-standing interpretation, Ribera: Art of Violence reveals the complex artistic, religious and cultural discourses underpinning the artist's violent imagery in his paintings, prints and drawings. More information at Dulwich Picture Gallery and Full Press Release.

In collaboration with the Zurbarán Centre, Dulwich Picture Gallery is organising a study day inspired by the exhibition Ribera: Art of Violence (26 September 2018 - 27 January 2019). Examining Ribera's art from various interdisciplinary perspectives, the event will bring together established and emerging voices to explore new approaches to the artist, his works, myths and audiences. The study day will be structured around the exhibition's five thematic sections: Religious Violence; Skin and the Five Senses; Crime and Punishment; The Bound Figure; and Mythological Violence. Situating his paintings, prints and drawings within their historical context, this event will address the relevance of Ribera's violent imagery in contemporary art and thought.


Proves once and for all that Jusepe de Ribera belongs in the same company as Caravaggio and Rembrandt' - The Guardian

'Gory details exude raw power and beauty' - Evening Standard

'Breaks every polite rule of British exhibition-making' - The Times

'A superb show... curated with rare verve and care... unmissable' - Apollo

'A masterclass in curating... proves you don't need an excess of loans to demonstrate your thesis convincingly and economically' - Hyperallergic

'This superb and disturbing show... gives a riveting insight into the achievements of an ambitious, complex and disconcerting artist.' - Gabriele Finaldi, The Burlington Magazine