This canvas is one work from a noteworthy series by Ribera, painted primarily in the 1630s, representing the famous philosophers of antiquity. Each image in the series is minutely worked to reveal the philosophy and character of its subject, an approach that would have appealed to the humanists of the day. However, Ribera distanced himself from the traditional iconographic framework for such images, and in spite of the fact that these works were meant to represent wise men, he painted from actual models and rejected all idealization as he created powerful depictions of their actual figures. If the inscription on the lower right of this painting is reliable, this canvas depicts the Theban philosopher Crates. This philospher, a Cynic active around 320 B. C., is known to have been the student of Diogenes and the teacher of Zeno, the founder of Stoicism. Crates abandoned his property to become a mendicant and the author of didactic parodies, tragedies and dramas. Crates is known to have been a kind, wise and fascinating character with an ugly face. However, the man shown here is not particularly ugly in Ribera's philosopher series. This painting is known to have been in the collection of the Prince of Lichtenstein in the mid 18th century, and judging from historical documents, it is surmised to have been one of a series of six works painted for the Prince in 1636-37. Today this series is divided between museums in the west and the NMWA. All six works were gathered for display in 1992 when the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, held an exhibition on Ribera. That opportunity to view the six works together revealed that there are slight differences in the styles of the six works, and thus it is clear that some of the paintings involved work by Ribera's studio. Of the six works, the NMWA's image of Crates was particularly noteworthy for its powerful, true touch. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no.44)


  • Title: Philosopher Crates
  • Creator Lifespan: 1591 - 1652
  • Creator Nationality: Spanish
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Naples
  • Creator Birth Place: Xàtiva
  • Date Created: 1636
  • Location Created: Spain
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings: Signed, dated and titled lower right: Josephf de Ribera español /.F. 1636 / crate tebano; Inscribed bottom right: crate tebano
  • Provenance: Prinz Karl Eusebius von Liechtenstein, 1637, and his successors, until 1950; Private Coll., since 1950; Galerie Nathan, Zürich.
  • Physical Dimensions: w985 x h1240 mm
  • Painter: Jusepe de Ribera
  • Object title (Japanese): 哲学者クラテース
  • Object notes (Japanese): リベーラの作品の中でも特に注目すべきものに、1630年代に集中して描かれた一連の古代ギリシャの哲学者の肖像がある。これは、古代の哲学者たちの姿が各人の教説や性格に従っていかに微妙に描き分けられているかを見て楽しむ、当時の人文主義者たちの嗜好に応えたものである。しかしリベーラの場合は、伝統的な図像学の規範から離れ、賢人といえども決して理想化せず、実在する男たちをモデルに、彼らのありのままの姿を力強く克明に描いた点に特徴を持つ。本作品の右下にある書き込みを信頼するならば、ここに描かれているのはテーバイの哲学者クラテースである。彼は紀元前320年前後に活躍した犬儒派哲学者で、ディオゲネスの弟子、かつストア学派の祖ゼノンの師として知られる。彼は財産を棄て托鉢生活を送り、箴言風のパロディ、悲歌、戯曲などを著した。クラテースは親切で聡明かつ魅力的な人物であると同時に、醜い容貌の持ち主としても知られるが、ここに描かれた人物はリベーラが描いた一連の哲学者の中で特に醜い訳ではない。本作品は18世紀中葉にリヒテンシュタイン大公のコレクションにあったことが確認され、さらに史料から判断して、 1636年から翌年にかけて大公のために制作された6点の連作中の1点と推定される。今日これらの作品は欧米のコレクションと当国立西洋美術館に分蔵されているが、1992年の秋にニューヨークのメトロポリタン美術館で開催された「フセーペ・デ・リベーラ展」には6点すべてが展示された。そこには様式上微妙な相違が認められ、弟子の介入を窺わせる作品もあったが、その中で当館の《クラテース》は力強い正確なタッチによって注目された。(出典: 国立西洋美術館名作選. 東京, 国立西洋美術館, 2006. cat. no. 44)
  • Artist Name (Japanese): リベーラ、フセーペ・デ
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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