Results 1 554
418 Previous Next

Saint Paul the Hermit
Explore Object
Creative Commons License

Saint Paul the Hermit

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description Paul the Hermit was a 3rd-century saint who escaped persecution by retreating to the Egyptian desert, where he lived in continual meditation until he was more than 100 years old. The raven that sustained Paul by bringing him bread each day appears at the upper left. The skull prompted his meditation on the brevity of human life. Ribera was born in Spain but worked in Italy. His use here of stark contrasts of light and dark, made popular by the Italian painter Caravaggio (1571-1610), highlights the modeling of the saint's emaciated torso. The thick paint and textured brushwork that evoke the wrinkled skin contribute to the realism of the image. This is critical to the emotional impact on the viewer of Paul as a model of personal penance that was central to Counter Reformation Catholic devotion.
Date Description Narrative
3/04/1937Treatmentexamined for condition; infrared spectroscopy; surface cleaned; x-ray
2/11/1991Examinationexamined for condition
  • Going for Baroque. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995-1996.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signed and date] Lower right: Jusepe Ribera espanol valenciano F.1630 1636,1638 ?
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902

Download Image Add to Collection Creative Commons License

ca.1638 (Baroque)
oil on canvas
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 52 1/4 x W: 42 in. (132.7 x 106.7 cm)


    Thumbnail: Saint Paul the Hermit
    Zoom Out Zoom In Back to Details  
    Full Size: Saint Paul the Hermit