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Naples in flesh and bones: Ribera’s Drunken Silenus and Saint Jerome

Payne, Edward

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Authors

Edward Payne



Abstract

Jusepe de Ribera did not begin to sign his paintings consistently until 1626, the year in which he executed two monumental works: the Drunken Silenus and Saint Jerome and the Angel of Judgement (Museo di Capodimonte, Naples). Both paintings include elaborate Latin inscriptions stating that they were executed in Naples, the city in which the artist had resided for the past decade and where he ultimately remained for the rest of his life. Taking each in turn, this essay explores the nature and implications of these inscriptions, and offers new interpretations of the paintings. I argue that these complex representations of mythological and religious subjects – that were destined, respectively, for a private collection and a Neapolitan church – may be read as incarnations of the city of Naples. Naming the paintings’ place of production and the artist’s city of residence in the signature formulae was thus not coincidental or marginal, but rather indicative of Ribera inscribing himself textually, pictorially and corporeally in the fabric of the city.

Citation

Payne, E. (2017). Naples in flesh and bones: Ribera’s Drunken Silenus and Saint Jerome. Open Arts Journal, 99-113. https://doi.org/10.5456/issn.2050-3679/2018w05

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2017
Deposit Date Jan 23, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jul 19, 2019
Journal Open Arts Journal
Publisher Open University
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Issue 6
Pages 99-113
DOI https://doi.org/10.5456/issn.2050-3679/2018w05
Publisher URL https://openartsjournal.org/issue-6/article-5/

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