The exhibition ‘Young Masters Dialogues’ features an array of contemporary works, made or placed in response to the Sphinx Fine Art Old Master Collection. 

Shane Wolf, an American painter based in Paris, has created a work titled ‘Miletus’ in response to Ribera’s ‘The Philosopher Thales’. The original Ribera is a particularly striking, recently re-discovered work depicting the Philosopher Thales of Miletus, a figure often regarded as the first philosopher.  This painting features expert modelling of light which helps give elements, such as the scroll, an almost tangible quality, whilst the brilliantly rendered right sleeve feels almost sculptural.  This skillful rendering and sculptural quality is echoed in Wolf’s contemporary companion piece.

Wolf explains why he chose to respond to Ribera:

“When I first saw on Sphinx Fine Art’s website that an original Jusepe de Ribera painting was in their collection, I could not resist this unbelievable and very humbling opportunity to have a direct dialogue with one of the Great Masters. I was first struck by Ribera’s work during my years of study in Florence, Italy, where his formidable painting “Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew” hangs in the Palazzo Pitti’s Galleria Palatina. What strength, what composition, what power! Sphinx Fine Art’s “The Philosopher Thales” provides me this incredibly unique occasion to create my own original work in homage to Ribera.”

Wolf’s painting will be on show side by side with the original Ribera at Sphinx Fine Art in the exhbition ‘Young Masters: Dialogues’ from 12 – 24 October 2015, curated by Daisy McMullan.