Jusepe de Ribera
Oil on canvas
Although he worked in Italy as a painter and printmaker, Jusepe de Ribera was a native Spaniard, nicknamed “Lo Spagnoletto” (the Little Spaniard). As an artist in training, he was especially drawn to the work of Coreggio and Caravaggio, and his early work exhibits many “Carivaggesque” qualities. Later in life, Ribera experimented with a softer, more classical style. The Immaculate Conception was still a popular subject in art during the Baroque era, when the Catholic Church was concerned with leading its followers away from the teachings of the Protestant Reformation. There was a rise in the popularity of more fantastical, emotional subjects in art. It’s fitting, then that the almost magical quality of the Immaculate Conception scene would be favored over the understated Annunciation paintings of the Renaissance.