The Poet, c. 1620-1621

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The leading figure of Neapolitan painting, Jusepe de Ribera also had an intense but short-lived fascination with etching. This poet-possibly Virgil or Dante-strikes the familiar pose of the brooding, melancholy figure: head on hand, shadowed face, pensive expression. Such individuals were believed capable of almost divine brilliance but at the same time were sadly bound by their earthly limitations, a weight symbolized by the stone on which the poet leans. Many of Ribera's eighteen etchings are related to oil paintings, but The Poet stands alone, without a precedent.

The Poet
Artist Life
Spanish, c. 1590-1652
Accession Number
Pierre Mariette, 1667 and 1688 (see L.1787); John Barnard (L.1419); St. John Dent (L.2373); William M. Ladd, Portland, Ore.; sold to Jones 1916; Herschel V. Jones, Minneapolis; given to MIA, 1916.
Catalogue Raisonne
Bartsch 10; Brown 3
Curator Approved

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