Saint Joseph with the Flowering Rod
Called “Lo Spagnoletto” (the little Spaniard) by his Italian clientele, the Spanish-born and trained Ribera made his career in Naples, where his major patron, the Duke of Osuna, served as viceroy to the Spanish Bourbon rulers of southern Italy. Following a Spanish tradition initiated by the famed painter El Greco (1541–1614), Ribera painted individual portraits of Christ’s intimates, including his father Saint Joseph and his disciples. According to apocryphal sources, suitors for the Virgin Mary’s hand were to present rods to the high priest of the Temple. When Joseph’s rod bloomed, he was identified as her betrothed. Ribera conveys the unexpected wonder of the moment with the lighting from above and the aged Joseph’s questioning hand gesture.
- Artist: Jusepe de Ribera, Spanish, 1591-1652
- Medium: Oil on panel
- Place Made: Europe
- Dates: early 1630s
- Dimensions: 46 x 35 3/4 in. (116.8 x 90.8 cm) (show scale)
- Signature: Signed bottom center: "Jusepe Ribera/F"
- Collections:European Art
- Museum Location: This item is on view in Beaux-Arts Court, North, 3rd Floor
- Accession Number: 11.563
- Credit Line: Gift of George D. Pratt
- Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
- Caption: Jusepe de Ribera (Spanish, 1591-1652). Saint Joseph with the Flowering Rod, early 1630s. Oil on panel, 46 x 35 3/4 in. (116.8 x 90.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of George D. Pratt, 11.563
- Record Completeness: Best (92%)