Francisco Ribalta was a well-known artist of the 17th century in Valencia. According to Jusepe Martinez wrote about Ribalta, "He gave his soul to God and was venerated that he was held almost as a saint; he sought no advantages in this life but as always honourable in his dealings. His works, effort, skills and paintings had a great impact on the history of Spanish paintings".
Ribalta was born in Solsana, Lerida on June 2, 1562. Between the years 1571 and 1573, the Ribalta family left their home in Solsona for Barcelona. Francisco Ribalta was influenced by the paintings of Isaac Hermes. After his parents’ death in 1581, his family decided to move to Madrid in seek of apprenticeship. During those years of studying and working, he studied paintings of royal collection. He also developed his early style, which was strongly influenced by Italian Mannerism. Mannerist style is an artistic style that takes emotions and attitude through the paintings/drawings. Ribalta’s earliest works include the Crucifixion- The Nailing To The Cross (1582/1566; St. Petersburg, Hermitage), which shows his interest in Venetian coloring and the use of light.
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Francisco Ribalta developed a family of his own later in his years with Ines Pelagyo and soon had two daughters and a son, Juan in the year 1597. His family life didn’t interfere his career and his passion he had for paintings. Once came to Valencia in 1598, throughout the years 1599 to 1620, he made many accomplishments which were a step closer to his career in art. Which was also the place he began the effect of shades of darkness. He painted Fray Domingo Adadon on his Death bed (1603) and Bishop Miguel de Espinosa in the same year. There were also portraits of Margarita Augllу in 1600 and Hermano Francisco del Nino JesuЬ. In 1603, Ribalta received his first major commission to paint the alterpiece for S Jaime Apostol, Algemesi. In the same year, he was also commissioned to paint Christ Appearing to St. Vicente Ferrer (1604-1605). By 1607, he was den assigned by the Gremio de Plateros to paint the altarpiece, dedicated to St. Eligius. The idea of Colegio de Pintores revived later in his years; Ribalta made a decision on taking a role in the management and signed the petition to Philip III in 1616 and 1617. A year before 1616, Ribalta developed a Baroque style using tints of light and shade (one painting was St Bernard Embracing Christ in 1620-28).
After the 1620s, Ribalta shows his understanding and his passion of naturalism through his artworks. As a matter of fact, the works that were done during those years were of the highest quality.
The Ribalta is a Spanish family of painters. Francisco Ribalta’s son, Juan (1596/7-1628) also became a painter in Carayaggesque, unfortunately he died at a young age. During Francisco Ribalta’s generation, he was a successful painter and was well appreciated. Not only many people approved his artworks, but also his artistic skills and his spirit. He dedicated more than half of his life and throughout his career on his works, which were mostly paintings of religious subjects and spiritual beliefs. His death took place in Valencia on January 13, 1628. "he was deeply mourned by the whole city and its inhabitants, who gave him an honourable burial." Jusepe Martinez said.
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