Magdalena Ventura with her husband and child

(1631; Toledo, Museo Fundación Duque de Lerma)
   Painted by Jusepe de Ribera for the Duke of Alcalá, Viceroy of Naples, who was fascinated by Magdalena Ventura, a resident in the city cursed with a heavy beard. In the painting, Magdalena stands next to her husband and suckles one of her many children, her breast predominantly displayed to denote her ability to bear and nurture children in spite of her condition. A long inscription on the stones stacked to the right speaks of her situation and hails her as "a miracle of nature." Above the stones are the spindle and distaff, implements used for weaving and considered signs of domesticity and female virtuosity. Though a depiction of what some would classify as a freak of nature, Ribera depicted the woman in all her dignity. The work speaks of the interest in the Spanish court and its territories in the rarities of nature and the desire to record them.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ribera, Jusepe de — (Lo Spagnoletto; 1591 1652)    Born in Jativa, near Valencia, Jusepe de Ribera was one of the most notable painters of Baroque Spain. Nothing is known of his training, though some believe he may have studied with Francisco Ribalta. At the age of… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium

  • Mary of Hungary (governor of the Netherlands) — For her niece and namesake, who was also Queen of Hungary, see Maria of Austria, Holy Roman Empress. Mary of Austria A portrait of Mary by Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen …   Wikipedia

  • performing arts — arts or skills that require public performance, as acting, singing, or dancing. [1945 50] * * * ▪ 2009 Introduction Music Classical.       The last vestiges of the Cold War seemed to thaw for a moment on Feb. 26, 2008, when the unfamiliar strains …   Universalium

  • Bevilacqua family — The Bevilaqua family is a noble Italian family, descending from the 12th century, with many notable members. Duchessa, Marchessa, and Countess Donna Felicita Bevilacqua La Masa (1822 1899) was a descendant of Morando Bevilacqua (1150 1221). He… …   Wikipedia

  • List of fatal dog attacks in the United States — This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries. Contents 1 Existing studies 1.1 Centers for Disease Control an …   Wikipedia

  • 1988 in music — This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the year 1988. TOC Events *Peter Ruzicka became director of the Hamburg State Opera and State Philharmonic Orchestra. [cite web|url=http://www.peter ruzicka… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.