Ribera in Rome

SERIES: From VIVE to the city. The history of art in Rome in the 15th-20th centuries - Under the aegis of Silvia Ginzburg, professor of the History of Modern Art, Università di Roma Tre
SPEAKERGiuseppe Porzio
DATEThursday 14 December, 6pm
PLACE: Palazzo Venezia, Sala del Refettorio

The importance of the figure of Jusepe de Ribera (1592-1651) in the panorama of European painting of the 17th century is shown by the intense flowering of studies that, especially in recent decades, have been devoted to the Spanish master and in particular to reconstructing his formative phase. The lecture will deal precisely with Ribera’s long stay in Rome, where he arrived as an adolescent around 1606 to settle there – except for an Emilian parenthesis, between 1610 and 1611 – until his final departure for Naples in mid-1616. In the papal capital the painter occupied a central position within the ‘schola’ of Caravaggio, already recognised by Giulio Mancini and corroborated by the identification of the young Ribera with the anonymous “Master of the Judgment of Solomon”; a development characterised by an extraordinary stylistic evolution – from the softness of the impasto of his early works, still reflecting the influence of the Carracci, to the elaboration of an extremely raw but deeply human realism – and exemplified by the artist’s masterpieces still present in collections in Rome.


Giuseppe Porzio teaches History of Modern Art at the Università di Napoli L’Orientale. His scholarly work deals with painting between the 16th and 18th centuries in central-southern Italy, in particular the naturalistic currents and foreign presences. Among his main works are the monographs on “La scuola di Ribera” (Artem, 2014) and “Carlo Sellitto” (Artem, 2019) and the curatorship of the exhibitions “Intorno alla Santa Caterina di Giovanni Ricca. Ribera e la sua cerchia a Napoli, 1620-1650 circa” (Naples 2016) and, with Antonio Ernesto Denunzio, “Artemisia Gentileschi a Napoli” (Naples 2022-2023). He is a member of the Scholarly Committee of the Royal Palace of Naples.