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Saint Sebastian attended by Saint Irene and her maid

  • 'Saint Sebastian attended by Saint Irene and her handmaiden'. Detail© Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia

    'Saint Sebastian attended by Saint Irene and her handmaiden'. Detail© Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia

     
  

Category

Painting

Date

Between 1630 and 1640

Cultural background

Baroque

Original title

San Sebastián atendido por Santa Irene y su criada
Valencia Museum of Fine Arts
Valencia
Valencia
Valencia

This painting by José de Ribera, also known as 'El Españoleto' is one of the museum's most emblematic works. It highlights the artist's mastery in handling their technique of chiaroscuro.

Dated between the years 1630 and 1640, this work is a clear example of the style of this Valencian painter who received his training in Italy. On a dark – almost black– background, he depicts the naked Saint in an outstanding anatomical study, intensely illuminated. Meanwhile Saint Irene in semi-darkness removes the arrows from the martyr's flesh. In the shadows in the background, we can see the figure of the maid helping in the task, and balancing the pronounced diagonal composition.

This large canvas is currently displayed flanked by another two works by Ribera: 'Pythagoras' and 'Heraclitus'.
 

Details of the work

Origin
San Carlos Academy, Valencia

Object
Painting

Dimensions
208 x 157 cm.

Technique
Oil

Material
Canvas

  

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