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Ribera: Art of Violence

Watch our exhibition preview:

★★★★★  The Guardian | ★★★★★ Evening Standard ★★★★ The Telegraph | ★★★★ The Times |  ★★★★ Time Out

'The skin tingles from the start of this powerful exhibition' - The Times

'Proves once and for all that Jusepe de Ribera belongs in the same company as Caravaggio and Rembrandt' - The Guardian

'Gory details exude such raw power and beauty' - The Evening Standard

Ribera: Art of Violence is the first UK show of work by the Spanish Baroque artist, Jusepe de Ribera (1591–1652), displaying his most sensational, shocking and masterfully composed works.

Ribera is one of the titans of Spanish Baroque art. Born in Valencia, Spain, Ribera emigrated to Italy as a young artist in 1606. He spent most of his career in Naples, where he influenced many artists including Salvator Rosa and Luca Giordano. He is often regarded as the heir to Caravaggio for his dramatic use of light and shadow, and his practice of painting directly from the live model.

Bringing together loans from seven different countries, this ground-breaking exhibition explores, for the first time, an aspect of Ribera’s art for which he was renowned: violent depictions of saints and figures being flayed and flogged. Ribera’s images of pain can be shocking, and he has historically been labelled as sadistic and violent. Challenging this long-standing interpretation, this show reveals the complex artistic, religious and cultural discourses underpinning the artist’s violent imagery in his paintings, prints and drawings.

*Please note this exhibition contains one example of human remains in the form of tattooed skin*

Press & Media - click here to view the full press release.

Generously supported by:


The exhibition catalogue was generously supported by:

The Elizabeth Cayzer Charitable Trust

Official Paint Partner

Image credits: Jusepe de Ribera, St Sebastian Tended by the Holy Women, c.1621, Oil on canvas, (detail), 180.3 x 231.6cm, The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. Photo: The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. ©Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao; Jusepe de Ribera, Studies of the Nose and Mouth, c.1622, Etching, 14 x 21.6 cm, British Museum. Photo: British Museum. ©The Trustees of the British Museum. Jusepe de Ribera, Martyrdom of St Bartholomew, 1644, Oil on canvas, (detail), 202 x 153 cm, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona. Photo: Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona / Mnac,Calveras/Mérida/Sagristà. © Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona. 

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Event details

Start date
26 September 2018
End date
27 January 2019
10am - 5pm, Tuesday - Sunday (Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays)
Adult: £16.50* Senior (65yrs+): £15.50* Concessions: £8* (Unemployed, Disabled, Student, Art Fund, Museums Association Members). Under 18s, Friends, Carers: Free. *Includes optional Gift Aid donation