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Jusepe de Ribera (Lo Spagnoletto) 1591-1652
Drunken Silenus
Etching, 1628
Founder's Bequest 1816

Ribera's masterpiece in printmaking, in which he was inspired by an engraving by Annibale Carracci. Silenus, son of Pan, was a corpulent agricultural divinity who raised Bacchus from childhood and led his triumphal processions on a braying donkey. As in Ribera's painting of two years earlier, Pan is shown crowning Silenus with ivy, but the artist changed some iconographic details: he replaced Pan's tortoise with his pipes, introduced two putti and opened out the landscape on the right. The inscription records Setaben (Játiva), the place of Ribera's birth in Spain, and Partenope (Naples), where he had settled in 1616.


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