Tuesday, March 19, 2013
March 19 - Georges de La Tour
French Baroque painter Georges de La Tour was born on March 19, 1593, in the Duchy of Lorraine, France, where he spent his life. He became a master painter and, although the chronology of his works is uncertain, he initially painted in a realistic manner and was influenced by the naturalism and tenebrist style – i.e., dramatic light-and-dark, or chiaroscuro – of Italian painter Caravaggio and his Dutch followers. His greatest works, which increasingly addressed religious subjects, are careful and simplified geometrical compositions, usually interior tableaux lit only by the intense glow of candles or torches, imparting a contemplative stillness and an astonished sense of wonder. La Tour was forgotten until his works were rediscovered in 1915. He has since been favored by forgers. Pictured: “Joseph the Carpenter” (1645), showing Jesus with his father, in which the geometry of the augur and wood foreshadow the crucifixion.