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63

Jusepe de Ribera

A philosopher | Un Philosophe

Estimate:

120,000 - 180,000 EUR

From a French Private Collection | Provenant d'une collection particulière française

Jusepe de Ribera

Jusepe de Ribera

A philosopher | Un Philosophe

A philosopher | Un Philosophe

Estimate:

120,000 - 180,000 EUR

Jusepe de Ribera

Xátiva 1591 – 1652 Naples

A philosopher


Oil on canvas

129,5 x 100,5 cm ; 51 by 39 5/8 in.

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Jusepe de Ribera

Xátiva 1591 – 1652 Naples

Un philosophe


Huile sur toile

129,5 x 100,5 cm ; 51 by 39 5/8 in.

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The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Private Collection, France.

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Collection particulière, France.

N. Spinosa, cat. exh. Jusepe de Ribera, Naples, 27 February-17 May 1992, p. 33, repr.;

N. Spinosa, Ribera, L'opera completa, Naples 2006, p. 297, cat. no. A91, repr.;

N. Spinosa, Ribera, La Obra Completa, Madrid 2008, p. 370, cat. no.A111, repr.

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N. Spinosa, cat. exp. Jusepe de Ribera, Naples, 27 février-17 mai 1992, p. 33, repr. ;

N. Spinosa, Ribera, L'opera completa, Naples, 2006, p. 297, cat. n° A91, repr. ;

N. Spinosa, Ribera, La Obra Completa, Madrid, 2008, p. 370, cat. n°A111, repr.

 

Stora Spanska Mästare, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, 1959-1960, no. 92.

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Stora Spanska Mästare, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, 1959-1960, n° 92.

The portrayal of philosophers occupied a favoured place in Ribera’s wide-ranging career, from his Roman period, beginning in 1612, until the end of his working life. Returning to the principles of Caravaggism, in which the depiction of models focuses on their profound humanity and a realism that is sometimes raw, Ribera paints this philosopher, whose identity is unknown (Archimedes? Thales?) in an attitude that is certainly solemn, with a hieratic quality reinforced by the direct frontality of the pose, yet also presents him as an old man with a wrinkled and knotted body. 


Brightly lit, the figure stands out against a sombre background that further accentuates his monumental quality, holding a tattered book and a white cloth in his worn, discoloured hands. Wearing a humble but voluminous robe, the figure epitomizes the particular attention that Jusepe de Ribera pays to facial details. The furrowed lines in the philosopher’s high forehead express his preoccupied thoughts, while his shadowy eyes, sunk in their sockets, stare fixedly out at the viewer.


Ribera was the most ardent adherent of this new iconographic approach, which was very successful, judging by the number of prestigious commissions that the artist received for paintings on this theme, especially from Don Fernando Afan de Ribera y Enríquez (1570-1637), Duke of Alcalà and Viceroy of Naples in the early 1630s. Ribera also produced a series for the Prince of Lichtenstein in 1636.


The present philosopher does not appear to belong to one of these series, but was probably painted when Ribera was in Naples, in about 1630, at the peak of his career. The importance of this composition is reinforced by the existence of a second version, of lower quality, attributed to the artist (Sotheby’s sale New York, 30 January 2014, lot 258, sold for 137,000 dollars).


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Au sein de la riche carrière de Ribera, la représentation de philosophes occupe une place privilégiée, depuis sa période romaine, dès 1612, jusqu’à la fin de sa carrière.


Reprenant les principes du caravagisme qui s’attachent plus à l’humanité profonde et au réalisme parfois cru des modèles représentés, Ribera dépeint ce philosophe, dont l’identité nous échappe (s’agit-il d’Archimède ? de Thalès ?) dans une attitude certes solennelle, au hiératisme encore renforcé par la frontalité directe de sa pose, mais il le représente également comme un vieil homme au corps noueux et ridé.


Eclairé vigoureusement, il se détache sur un fond sombre qui accentue encore sa monumentalité, tenant dans ses mains usées et noircies un livre en piteux état et un linge blanc. Le visage de l’homme, humblement vêtu d’un manteau volumineux, révèle l’attention particulière que Jusepe de Ribera apporte aux détails du visage. Les traits ridés du haut front rappellent les préoccupations du sage, tandis que les yeux ombreux du philosophe, enfoncés dans les orbites, fixent avec intensité le spectateur.


Cette approche iconographique nouvelle, dont Ribera sera le plus ardent représentant, connaîtra un succès notable, si l’on considère le nombre de commandes prestigieuses que le peintre recevra sur ce thème, notamment de la part de Don Fernando Afan de Ribera y Enríquez (1570-1637), Duc d’Alcalà et vice-roi de Naples au début des années 1630, ou encore la série exécutée pour le prince de Lichtenstein en 1636.


Si le présent philosophe ne faisait apparemment pas partie d’une de ces séries, il est probablement exécuté alors que Ribera est à Naples, vers 1630, au sommet de sa carrière. L’importance de cette composition est d’ailleurs avérée par l’existence d’une seconde version, de qualité moindre, attribuée à l’artiste (vente Sotheby’s New York, 30 janvier 2014, lot 258, vendue pour 137.000 USD).