Museums and Art

“The Holy Family with St. Catherine”, Hussep de Ribera - description of the painting

“The Holy Family with St. Catherine”, Hussep de Ribera - description of the painting

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The Holy Family with St. Catherine - Hussep de Ribera. 209.6x154.3

Born in Spain, Hussep de Ribera (1591-1652) spent most of his life in Italy, first working in Rome, and then at the Neapolitan royal court. His work was greatly influenced by Caravaggio's painting with its contrasts of light and shadow, as well as characters who seemed to come from the street, but at the same time full of grandeur and natural beauty.

The betrothal scene depicted in this picture St. Catherine with Christ (the mystical betrothal, as a result of which Catherine becomes the "bride of Christ") is illuminated by a bright flash of light, snatching the main characters from the twilight. Such a technique, like draperies lying in large, free folds, gives the work a touch of theatricality, to which the painters of the Baroque era were inclined. And at the same time, this work is filled with lively human emotions: the Mother of God gently and anxiously bowed her head to the Baby, Saint Catherine kisses his hand with trembling trepidation. The faces of St. Catherine and the Mother of God, as well as their movements, are beautiful and gentle, but at the same time restrained. Strictness and sentimentality were the hallmarks of most Spanish artists of that time.

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