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Georges de la Tour - Baroque Painter of Light

The Penitent Magdalen
The Penitent Magdalen

Georges de la Tour - Baroque Painter of Light

Georges de La Tour
A Caravaggisti Embraces Silence

"The inescapable influence of Caravaggio

When the whirlwind of violence, profanity and big art that was Caravaggio spun through Italy, he left a trail of newly-minted Baroque painters in his wake. Everyone wanted to be Caravaggio, and it was nearly impossible not to be influenced by the vehemence of his bold new style. Strong color, deep shadows, and the exquisitely rendered human form. So many imitators arose they became known as Caravaggisti. The first converts were in Italy, including Giovanni Baglione, Orazio Gentileschi, and his daughter Artemisia Gentileschi, but soon the movement spread to France, where it opened the eyes of the young Georges de la Tour.Allowing Silence

Georges de la Tour was 17 when Caravaggio died, by murder or lead poisoning depending on who you ask, but the master’s work lived on in La Tour, and evolved in a surprising way. We don’t know where La Tour learned to paint, and it’s only speculation that he traveled through Italy as a young man. We do know that he lived with his wife in the quiet town of Lunéville in France, slowly growing a reputation as a painter of quietly powerful religious scenes, and was eventually named Painter to the King by Louis XIII.

So why do we talk about La Tour? Many painters adopted Caravaggio’s style, but La Tour evolved it. Caravaggio’s work is all about the lighting. The viewer becomes a spotlight on figures in a dark room, capturing a moment with the clarity of a camera flash. La tour reduced the dramatic light source to a pinprick—a single candle illuminating faces lost in thought. Where Caravaggio’s light exposed violence, La Tour’s candles are intimate scenes of contemplation. I love La Tour. In a race to make paintings bolder, bigger, and more dramatic, La Tour gave silence its space." from the article: Georges de La Tour A Caravaggisti embraces silence

Georges de La Tour: A collection of 58 paintings

Video from LearnFromMasters

"Georges de La Tour: A collection of 58 paintings (HD) Description: "Little is known of Georges de La Tour's life. By 1620 he was established at the prosperous town of Lunéville, where he specialized in religious and genre scenes. His primary patrons seem to have been Lunéville's bourgeoisie and the duchy's administration at nearby Nancy. In 1639 he gained the title of peintre du roi (Painter to the King) and was wealthy enough to arouse jealousy among his fellow townsmen. La Tour's early mode typifies the Mannerist style of Nancy. By the 1620s, however, he had come into contact with the art of Caravaggio, probably through prints or paintings by northern artists such as Gerrit van Honthorst and Hendrick ter Brugghen. Lit by crisp daylight, La Tour's works from this period are characterized by their still atmosphere and meticulous rendering of ornament and textures. Increasingly, La Tour was drawn to candlelight scenes in which a single flame created an atmosphere of otherworldly calm. He gradually simplified forms until, in his late works, all masses were reduced to simple, almost geometrical, shapes. After his death, La Tour passed into virtual oblivion for almost three centuries. In 1915 a German scholar recognized La Tour's style in several pictures that had been variously ascribed to Spanish, Dutch, and other French artists." from video introduction


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