wall label: 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