Drunken Silenus

Jusepe de Ribera (Spanish, 1590-1652)

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Ribera shows unerring skill in realistically depicting the besotted wine god Silenus as a soft slug being facetiously crowned by an unkempt and shaggy Pan in this debunking of classical propriety.

In spite of Ribera's meager output of only 18 etchings, his prints were avidly collected by Rembrandt, and the Drunken Silenus was published three times in the artist's lifetime: by the artist in Naples in 1628, by the publisher Giovanni Orlandi in Rome and by Jacomo Rossi in 1649. This impression was from the second issue.

Purchased by the John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, in 1952.

Object Information

Jusepe de Ribera (Spanish, 1590-1652)
creation date
ink on paper, etching
10-1/2 x 13-5/8 in. (sheet)
mark descriptions
Inscribed engraving, lower right: Joseph, a Ribera Hisps. Valentie / Setaben f. Partenope / 1628
accession number
credit line
Carl H. Lieber Memorial Fund
Public Domain
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

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