Image Resources | Currently on View in Medieval Renaissance Gallery
Ribera's image of Aristotle is one of six imaginary portraits of ancient philosophers commissioned in 1636 by the prince of Liechtenstein. The artist's conception of Aristotle as an ordinary man wearing a scholar's skullcap and a ragged robe, a "beggar philosopher," is a type that enjoyed great popularity in the 17th century. Ribera's direct, naturalistic style and his dramatic use of light, both of which derive from Caravaggio, combine to create a powerful evocation of a philosopher deep in thought.
"In poverty and naked goes Philosophy," the masses bent on making money say."
-Petrarch, Canzoniere, about 1373-74