Jusepe de Ribera (Jativa 1588-1656 Naples) Saint Jerome in prayer

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Lot 46
Jusepe de Ribera
(Jativa 1588-1656 Naples)
Saint Jerome in prayer

£ 150,000 - 200,000
US$ 180,000 - 240,000
Withdrawn
Jusepe de Ribera (Jativa 1588-1656 Naples)
Saint Jerome in prayer
oil on canvas
45.1 x 34.6cm (17 3/4 x 13 5/8in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Acquired from a distinguished collection in Madrid approximately ten years ago by the current private Spanish collector

    The present painting has been recently identified in a letter dated 1 October 2013, by Professor Nicola Spinosa as an authentic work by Jusepe de Ribera, relating to the artist's larger Saint Jerome which can be dated to around 1650 and was in the Crivelli Messmer Collection in Milan and is now in the Civico Museo d'Arte Antica del Castello Sforzesco, also in Milan (178 x 125 cm; see: N. Spinosa, Jusepe de Ribera. La obra completa, Madrid 2008, n. A .356, p. 477), albeit with some variations, such as the presence of the books, lower left.

    After having been active at a very young age in Rome in the ambit of Caravaggio between 1609 and 1611, Ribera moved to Naples at the end of 1616, where he was one of the greatest exponents of the local trend towards naturalism in the early 17th century. In its anatomical detail and expressive qualities, Professor Spinosa writes that the present Saint Jerome presents all the qualities of the canvas in the Castello Sforzesco, as well as other works from the artist's later period.

    Professor Spinosa questions if it can be established whether the present canvas can be identified as a preparatory modello for the larger composition in Milan, but suggests that it is more likely that it is an autograph replica of the composition in the Castello Sforzesco. To date, no preparatory sketches for works by this Spanish master are known conclusively, whereas it was the case that, for those most prestigious artists working in Naples between the 17th and 18th centuries (from Giovan Battista Caracciolo to Massimo Stanzione and from Luca Giordano to Francesco Solimena), replicas of some of their most successful masterpieces were often requested by patrons. Such small replicas would have been destined for more modest domestic settings for the purposes of family and private devotion.

    Having examined the present work along with the Milan version Professor Spinosa locates both stylistically in the vicinity of the Saint Paul Hermit in the Musée du Louvre, which is signed and dated 1648 (?), but he also refers to two further autograph versions by Ribera which are known - a Saint Jerome Reading in the Lombard collection of Cumia in Naples, and a Penitent Saint Jerome, which differs in size (77 x 71 cm.) and composition, signed and dated 1652, which is in the Museo Nacional de Prado in Madrid (for these paintings see Spinosa, op. cit., nos. A355, A359 and A363, pp. 476-481).

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the present lot has been withdrawn.
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