RIBALTA, Juan
(b. 1597, Madrid, d. 1628, Valencia)

Biography

Spanish painter, son of Francisco Ribalta. He trained in his father's workshop and followed his style closely, though his manner is freer and more vigorous. Juan's early talent is evident in the large Christ Nailed to the Cross (1615; Valencia, Museo de Bellas Artes) painted for S Miguel de los Reyes, Valencia, in which the figures of the rough executioners are taken from an Italian copy (Valencia, Colegio de Corpus Christi) of Caravaggio's Martyrdom of St Peter (1601; Rome, Santa Maria del Popolo). Juan's indirect knowledge of the Escorial painters came through his father, and he was influenced by engravings of Albrecht Dürer, but his fundamental tendency was towards naturalism. The presence of Pedro Orrente in Valencia in 1616 brought changes in Juan's style; he used warmer colours, with underpainting in red ochre, as well as more descriptive detail. This is apparent in Adoration of the Shepherds (1616; Torrente, Valencia, Parroquia de la Asunción).



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