Jusepe de Ribera (Spanish, 15911652)
Oil on canvas; 82 1/2 x 60 3/4 in. (209.6 x 154.3 cm)
Samuel D. Lee Fund, 1934 (34.73)
As a young man, Ribera moved to Italyfirst to Rome, where he was especially influenced by Caravaggio and became a member of the Accademia di San Luca, and then to Naples, where he was patronized by a succession of Spanish viceroys. In this depiction of the "Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine of Alexandria," one of the most celebrated of Ribera's later works, the saint is represented without her conventional attributes. The older woman on the left, apparently Saint Anne, holds a basket with peaches and grapes and extends a rose to the Christ Child. The painting, bought in Italy by J. P. B. LeBrun, was shown in Paris in 1810 and was later in England in the collections of the earls of Northbrook and Harewood.