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Abdias was one of the Minor Prophets who served King Ahab whose story appears in the First Book of Kings (18). This image, along with its companion piece [Osee#CUADROS_en#10734], forms part of the series that decorates the arches of the side chapels in the Carthusian monastery of San Martino in Naples. It was painted by Ribera between 1638-43. The prophet, like all the figures in the series, has his posture adapted to the frame. He is depicted with his eyes closed and head bowed, lifting his right hand to the books with Hebrew headings in the upper part of the composition. He is dressed in an oriental style, with his tunic covered with a piece of blue and white-stripped fabric which matches the turban on his head. Once again Ribera's [naturalistic#ESCUELAS#72] representation of the prophet is notable, capturing his gestures and expression perfectly as if he were an ordinary person. Only the prophet's powerful arms bring [Michelangelo#PINTOR#2750] to mind. The dark tones employed and the almost tenebrist interplay of light and shade are characteristic elements of Ribera's early period in which references to Caravaggio were the order of the day.

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