Jusepe de Ribera (Spanish, 1591–1652)
Saints Peter and Paul, c. 1616
Oil on canvas, 49 5/8 x 44 1/8 in.
(126 x 112 cm)
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Strasbourg
The Spaniard Ribera spent his youthful career in Rome, becoming one of Caravaggio’s chief followers before moving to Naples in 1616. In this dynamic composition, he brings to life the contrasting poses and personalities of the two most significant founders of the Church. As in Caravaggio’s paintings, the physical proximity of the figures is palpable. He conveys their spiritual fervor through strong lights, deep shadows, and the insistent description of the worn pages of the book and unfurled scroll, whose contents they seem to debate.
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