Old Masters Evening Sale

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View full screen - View 1 of Lot 17. Saint Teresa of Avila (1515–1582) |《亞維拉聖德蘭(1515-1582年)》.

Property from a Private Collection | 私人收藏

Jusepe de Ribera, called lo Spagnoletto

Saint Teresa of Avila (1515–1582) |《亞維拉聖德蘭(1515-1582年)》

Auction Closed

December 10, 06:47 PM GMT


100,000 - 150,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from a Private Collection


Jusepe de Ribera, called lo Spagnoletto

胡塞佩・德・里貝拉 - 或稱洛・斯帕尼奧萊托

Játiva, Valencia 1591 - 1652 Naples

Saint Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)


signed and dated lower right: Jusepe de Ribera español / .F. 1644

款識:藝術家簽名並紀年Jusepe de Ribera español / .F. 1644(右下)

oil on canvas


123 x 97 cm.; 48 1/2 x 38 1/4 in.

123 x 97 公分;48 ½ x 38 ¼ 英寸

French private collection, from the 1850s;

Until sold (‘The Property of a French Private Collector’), London, Sotheby's, 9 July 1998, lot 76, for £150,000;

Fundación Cultural Fórum Filatélico, Madrid, 2008;

Anonymous sale (‘Property from a European Private Collection’), London, Sotheby's, 3 December 2014, lot 21;

Where acquired by the present owner.

N. Spinosa, L'opera completa del Ribera, Milan 1978, p. 136, no. 366, reproduced;

N. Spinosa, Ribera. L’opera completa, Naples 2006, p. 368, no. A303, reproduced;

N. Spinosa, Ribera, La obra completa, Madrid 2008, p. 463, no. A330, reproduced (erroneously listed as having been in the Abbeville collection).

This striking depiction of Saint Teresa of Avila, the most important female religious figure and writer of the Spanish sixteenth century, was painted in 1644 by Jusepe de Ribera, one of Spain’s leading artists of the following century. As a theologian and reformer of the Catholic Church, founding the Discalced Order of the Carmelites with Saint John of the Cross, Teresa played a significant role in the Counter Reformation. Ribera, as one of the principal exponents of the post-Tridentine aesthetic through the visual arts, is equally noteworthy. The union of these two figures in this signed and dated work typical of Ribera’s production from the 1640s therefore seems entirely appropriate.

By this stage in his career Ribera had reached the peak of his success, both artistically and commercially. His production focused on bust-length figures of saints depicted in a way that shows the extent to which he had succeeded in reconciling the tenebrism of Caravaggio with the restrained classicism of paintings he had seen in Rome a few years before. The present design must have found notable success, for an unsigned and undated replica, which Nicola Spinosa lists as autograph, is in the Museo de Bellas Artes in Valencia.1 A copy after the work is also listed as being in Seville.

Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada (1515–1582; canonized in 1628) was born in Avila in Old Castile and took the Carmelite habit at the convent of the Incarnation in Avila in 1536. She was active in the reform of the Carmelite Order and was responsible for establishing numerous convents in Spain, whose members were known as ‘Barefoot’ or ‘Discalced’. In 1562 Teresa founded a monastery in Avila dedicated to Saint Joseph, in some measure contributing to the growing cult for this figure. Here, Ribera has chosen to portray her as a visionary – searching for inspiration, she interrupts her writing to look up at the Holy Spirit, seen as a dove which floats above her head. Indeed Teresa experienced a number of mystical visions, which she duly described in her writings. She was named a Doctor of the Church in 1970.

1 Spinosa 2008, p. 463, cat. no. A331, reproduced; http://www.museobellasartesvalencia.gva.es/es/pintura/-/asset_publisher/KFeOnCE1wa8i/content/santa-teresa-de-jesus?redirect=http%3A%2F%2F