Jose de Ribera - St Onuphrius
The flowering of realistic painting, emerging in the fight against the idealized court painting, occurs in the first half of the XVII century. The main foci of realism become Seville and Valencia. One of the representatives of the school of Valencia was Jose de Ribera, a painter and a graphic artist. Ribera's paintings are dominated by religious themes with dramatic scenes which are rendered with the concreteness of life. He is also drawn to the mythological themes, he painted portraits, embodying in his characters vivid personal images of people of their homeland.
His early works are dominated by the sharp contrasts of light and shade ("Saint Jerome", "Saint Sebastian"); a later period of creativity (1620-1630's) is characterized by dramatic scenes of martyrdom, which emphasizes the victory of will over the physical suffering, and images of ancient philosophers and saints, whom he treated as national types. The artist showed images of people, full of inner strength and heroism ("Democritus", "Archimedes", "St. Onuphrius"). Since the mid-1630s, harsh realism shaped the structure of his work, he is increasingly moving towards a more balanced decisions; chiaroscuro in his works becomes softer, saturated colors, golden or silvery shades [full sublime humanity gospel and biblical compositions ("Adoration of the Shepherds"), heartfelt lyrical images of women ("Holy Inessa"), mythological and genre paintings ("Cripple") . Later works are tragic and cutting. His work is influenced by Spanish and Italian painting.