Jusepe de RIBERA
Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence (1620-1624)

Jusepe de Ribera was a Spanish-born artist who spent his entire artistic career in Italy, where he was the leading painter in Naples during the first half of the seventeenth century. An autograph work from the early 1620s, the Martyrdom of St Lawrence is distinguished by Ribera’s vigorous execution and startling naturalism. It was possibly commissioned to decorate the high altar of the Church of San Lorenzo in Lucina, Rome. According to traditional accounts, St Lawrence was martyred by being roasted alive on a gridiron in Rome on 10 August 258, during the persecution of the Christians by Emperor Valerian.