Spanish Baroque Art
Jusepe de Ribera
The Blind Sculptor · Allegory of Touch (1632)

In this portrait, the figure is shown caressing the head of a classical sculpture, probably of Apollo. The most widely-accepted interpretation of this is that it represents the sense of touch, as this Valencian artist frequently painted series of works on the five senses. During the eighteenth century, it was considered a portrait of the blind sculptor Giovanni Gonnelli, but this theory can be rejected because that artist was not even thirty when this painting was made. It was also thought to be a representation of the philosopher Carneades who, after losing his sight, was still able to recognize a bust of the god Pan by touch. It is probably a representation of the sense of touch, using the story of Carneades as its narrative vehicle. This was a very successful procedure during that period, when portraits of ancient philosophers were associated with allegories of the senses. (via Museo del Prado)

Jusepe de Ribera

The Blind Sculptor · Allegory of Touch (1632)

In this portrait, the figure is shown caressing the head of a classical sculpture, probably of Apollo. The most widely-accepted interpretation of this is that it represents the sense of touch, as this Valencian artist frequently painted series of works on the five senses. During the eighteenth century, it was considered a portrait of the blind sculptor Giovanni Gonnelli, but this theory can be rejected because that artist was not even thirty when this painting was made. It was also thought to be a representation of the philosopher Carneades who, after losing his sight, was still able to recognize a bust of the god Pan by touch. It is probably a representation of the sense of touch, using the story of Carneades as its narrative vehicle. This was a very successful procedure during that period, when portraits of ancient philosophers were associated with allegories of the senses. (via Museo del Prado)
Tags: #Jusepe de Ribera #allegory #sculptor #sculpture #mythology #history #Ancient Greece #Baroque #17th century #art history #Spain #Prado #art
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