Jusepe de Ribera, called Lo Spagnoletto
Jativa 1591-1652 Naples
The Head of a Man

PROVENANCE: Private UK Collection.

Red chalk, encircled watermark, mount numbered D7.6, losses

189 x 140 mm.; (7 x 5 in.)


Our drawing has been attributed to Jusepe de Ribera by Mark McDonald who comments on the drawing:

The drawing bear characteristics of the style of Ribera from the years around 1620-25. The use of red chalk, most particularly the intense concentration and careful delineation around the eye area conveying the sense that the sitter is staring intently links it with drawings such as Brown 1 and 2. The figure type has similarities with Ribera's St Peter (Brown, 6) and St Jerome (Brown, 4-6 & in particular 13). A similar bearded type occurs in Ribera's paintings during the 1620s.

The attribution has been accepted by Nicholas Turner, who has seen the drawing in person, and Dr Gabriele Finaldi (who has seen a photograph), and compares the drawing to one at Windsor Castle.

1.Jonathan Brown, Jusepe de Ribera: prints and drawings; The Art Museum, Princeton University, October-November 1973, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, December 1973-January 1974.