St James the Great

Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652)

St James is identified by his staff and is shown reading an inscription from the sixth article of the Apostles’ Creed, ‘He ascended into heaven and sits at the right side of the father’.

The painting was engraved in 1792 when it hung in the Royal Palace in Madrid. No other version of this composition are known.

The saint is shown enveloped in his cloak, this red cloak appears in other paintings by the artist (see St John the Baptist also in the Wellington Collection) and the foreshortening of the head is similar to Ribera’s St Paul the Hermit in the Prado, Madrid. Ribera was born in Spain but moved as a young man to Italy and lived in Rome and Naples.