Georges De LA Tour and His World Paperback – Jun 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Like his contemporary, Caravaggio (represented here by one picture), Georges de La Tour is best known for his dramatic use of chiaroscuro, particularly for his Nocturnes, in which a single candle lights a figure. This year, an exhibition currently at the National Gallery of Art through January 5, 1997, gathers nearly 50 pictures by the artist and his contemporaries under the rubric Georges de La Tour and His World. The accompanying catalogue, edited by Philip Conisbee, looks at de La Tour's development, influence, his subject matter and the northern Caravaggisti, through essays and 178 illustrations (95 in color).
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Those who haven't seen Georges de La Tour's paintings will be struck by the fact that the backgrounds are typically dark black. That was his style. He'd paint the design, starting with the light colors. Then he would add darker colors to it. And he'd finish up with a very dark background.
We see people paying taxes. We see a peasant couple. A hurdy-gurdy player. Brawling musicians. Dice players. There's a great work showing someone cheating at cards. In the version in the Louvre, the cheat has the Ace of Diamonds behind his back. La Tour did a copy of the painting, which is in the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, but in that one, the cheat holds the Ace of Clubs!
Some of the paintings have religious significance. Three of them involve Magdalene and a skull. Another shows Irene tending to the wounded Saint Sebastian. And there are paintings of the Holy Family. One is of Jesus and Saint Joseph in Joseph's carpenter's shop. Another is of Saint Anne (Mary's mother) teaching Mary to read. One more is of Anne and Jesus. And yet another is of Anne, Mary, and Jesus.
The detail in all these paintings is stunning. And the expressions on the faces of La Tour's characters are remarkable.
I recommend this book.
The iconic elements and symbolic representation cannot be seen. I will be returning this print and hope to ask Art.com if they can replace it, instead of just cancel my order. The frame was fine and the package arrived in good shape. It is just the rendering of the print itself that is (totally) unsatisfactory.