PAINTING: Christ embracing Saint Bernard, (Ribalta)
Ribalta minimizes the color to do an almost monochromatic scene. Light from left shoulder causes white habit and anatomy of Christ, resulting in countless shades of ivory that cause an almost sculptural aspect. The chiaroscuro effect shows the influence of Caravaggio's work Ribalta, who also seems to be inspired by Sebastiano del Piombo images for the powerful figure of Christ. This picture was painted for the Certosa Portaceli, around Valencia, and probably it be the most beautiful work of Francisco Ribalta few did throughout his life. Illustrates like no other Spanish plastic painting in his period, the delivery mystical Christian soul to Christ served with a placidity and a intensity without former.
This work is one of the most beautiful of Spanish Baroque painting and gives a perfect idea of the prevailing deeply religious mentality in the period. In this work you can see Christ sitting hugging St. Bernard, a monk with great faith, while kneeling. If we analyze the painting we can see the presence of gloomy, dark background where you can barely see the faces of angels, the light bulb that illuminates the body of Christ and of the monk and the play of shadows is spectacular. It is an oil on canvas painting, texture and color as they reveal simple humble and friendly characters. You can feel the simplicity of form and in composition, the presence of naturalism.