Jusepe de Ribera
Jusepe de Ribera was a painter and printmaker, who along with Francisco de Zurbarán, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, and the singular Diego Velázquez, are regarded as the major artists of Spanish Baroque painting. Ribera created history paintings, including traditional Biblical subjects and episodes from Greek mythology, but he is perhaps best known for his numerous views of martyrdom, which at times are brutal scenes depicting bound saints and satyrs as they are flayed or crucified in agony. Less familiar are his occasional, but accomplished portraits, still lifes, and landscapes. Nearly half of his surviving work consist of half length portraits of workers and beggars, often older individuals in ragged clothes, posing as various philosophers, saints, apostles, and allegorical figures. Ribera's paintings, particularly his early work, are characterized by stark realism using a chiaroscuro or tenebrous style. His later work embraced a greater use of color, softer light, and more complex compositions, although he never entirely abandoned his Caravaggisti leanings.