OIL PAINTING: Saint Onufri, 1637
Ribera studied in Francisco Ribalta's workshop in Valencia, but when still young he went to Naples, then under Spanish rule, where he worked for the rest of his life. Ribera was called there as Lo Spagnoletto. He obtained most of his commissions from the Spanish Viceroy and his entourage, but Ribera also completed a good many paintings for the churches of the city.
The influence of Caravaggio was felt throughout southern Italy and there can be little doubt that Ribera was the artist with the strongest and most independent personality of all his followers. Ribera represented crude reality boldly and without embellishment. The construction of his pictures is monumental and he reveals a strong sense of drama, empahasized by means of strongly contrasting light and shade. The poor inhabitants of Naples and the peasants of southern Italy were his models, and he depicted them without flattery or idealization as enormous figures clothed in rags. The painting of Saint Onufri also shows the influence of Caravaggio's work