1631. Oil on canvas. Signed and dated
At the age of 37, Magdalena Ventura who lived in Abruzzo (Italy) began to grow hair all over her body. Fifteen years later she travelled to Naples and the Viceroy, who wanted a visual record of this natural phenomenon, commissioned her portrait. The work, which includes a large explanatory inscription, is one of Ribera's most important contributions to the representation of individuals with singular physical or psycological characteristics, a category that was very fashionable in the seventeenth century.