145 years since the painting ‘The Christian Martyr’

23 de February, 2024

Produced in 1879, the painting O Mártir Cristão (The Christian Martyr) by Joaquim Vitorino Ribeiro, which is part of the long-term exhibition at the Soares dos Reis National Museum, was exhibited in 1880 at the Salon (France) and was mentioned by the newspaper “Le Figaro”.


Joaquim Vitorino Ribeiro attended the Academia Portuense de Belas-Artes, where his teacher was João António Correia.


In 1873 he went to Paris to complete his artistic education, as a private and then state pensioner. There he studied with the famous professor of the School of Fine Arts Alexandre Cabanel, like his fellow countrymen Silva Porto, Henrique Pousão and Sousa Pinto.

He earned the epithet of Père Ingres for the obsessive concern and rigour of the drawing he used in painting, after the numerous studies and sketches he applied himself to. In his “cold and literary” compositions, historical themes stand out, such as “The Departure of Vasco da Gama for India” and “The Oath of Viriato”, as well as the most interesting biblical themes, good examples of which are “Christ in the Tomb” and “The Christian Martyr”, exhibited in Paris at the Salons of 1879 and 1880.


Acquired shortly afterwards for the Museu Municipal do Porto, the painting was exhibited in Madrid at the 1881 Exposition of Fine Arts.


In Porto, as well as exhibiting at the Triennials of the Portuguese Fine Arts Association (1869, 1874, 1881), he took part in the Art Exhibitions of 1888, 1889, 1893 and 1894. His works appeared regularly in the best-known exhibitions held in the city in 1917, 1927, 1932, 1933 and 1936.


Another facet of his personality was that of a passionate collector, filling his house with a large and interesting collection of pieces, which was transformed into the Vitorino Ribeiro House-Museum thanks to the donation made by his sons, Pedro Vitorino and Emanuel Ribeiro, to Porto City Council.

Casa da Família Vitorino Ribeiro @Arquivo Municipal do Porto
Casa da Família Vitorino Ribeiro @Arquivo Municipal do Porto