The Easel

What pain looks like: the visceral art of Jusepe de Ribera

Ribera lived much of his life in violent Naples. This seems relevant to his art which is terrifyingly and repeatedly violent. Was Ribera himself violent? Probably not. There is a “gentleness” with which he painted his ghastly scenes, implying a witness, not a participant. Still, his imagination was, according to one critic, “one of art history’s darkest alleys”.