Georges De La Tour

Known as one of the best night-time painters in history, Georges De La Tour is a French artist who started his career in Paris and later moved to New York. His works feature mystical night scenes that are infused with the magic of the moon and stars. His reputation has grown over the years, and his paintings are in private collections all over the world.

Georges De La Tour

Early career

Amongst the many great masters of French Baroque, Georges de La Tour is best remembered for his Caravaggio-influenced early work. He exhibited a remarkable talent for capturing candlelight and converting it to real color.

The painter was born in the town of Vic-sur-Seille in the Duchy of Lorraine. His parents were artisanal class members. He married Diane le Nerf in 1617. In 1639, King Louis XIII appointed him as his official court painter.

After completing his training, he moved to Luneville, France. He gained patronage from King Louis XIII, Henry II of Lorraine, and Cardinal Richelieu.

He had an extensive career, producing religious paintings and commissioned works. His works are now found in the finest art museums worldwide. Some of his most notable works include The Fortune Teller, The Education of the Virgin, and The Night Scene with Saint Sebastian.

His paintings demonstrate a characteristic simplification of forms. They also exhibit a high degree of originality in composition and colour. His religious paintings, especially those depicting the Old Testament, are very powerful.

His work is not always easy to distinguish from the work of his contemporaries. In the late nineteenth century, some of his paintings were confused with the works of Vermeer. But evidence from archives of the long-dead Duchy proves that these are not the works of La Tour.

In the early twentieth century, his work was rediscovered. His work was re-examined by a German artist, Hermann Voss. He identified a number of paintings that were similar to La Tour’s. He also wrote a critical study on La Tour’s light treatment.

A full art-historical account of his life and work is available in large format monographs. These books include an introduction to his life and work, a biography, and an interpretive analysis of his works. Some of these monographs are translated into English. These works have been very influential in the presentation of his work to scholars.

In 1915, a German scholar published an article on La Tour. This was the first time that his name had been widely publicized.

Night-time paintings

During his lifetime, La Tour was considered the Old Master of Baroque art in Europe. He was a successful, professional painter who was financially stable and enjoyed royal patronage. His nocturnal religious paintings have been read in secular terms. These paintings are characterized by geometrical forms and a silent atmosphere.

The lighting effects in La Tour’s night-time paintings reveal a debt to C.’aravaggio. In these works, the light source is almost always a candle. The colour range is limited to shades of grey-brown, often in vermillion. The effect is a sense of unease and immobility. The use of artificial lighting has also been compared to that of the Le Nain Brothers in the early 17th century.

During his career, La Tour painted a wide range of nocturnal scenes. He was drawn to scenes depicted in candlelight. He tended to favour religious scenes. His figures are usually painted in profile. His accessories are enigmatic. These accessories include a copper skillet, a small table, and geometrical stasis.

La Tour’s first period is closely reminiscent of the works of Dirk van Baburen (1588-1629) and Hendrick Terbrugghen (1588-1629). His first period is also marked by Caravaggesque realism.

During his late career, La Tour’s works were characterized by an evocative style that tended to reduce the masses to simple geometrical shapes. His illumination was often metaphysical, moving models from the real world into an ethereal setting.

A key example of La Tour’s late work is A Girl Blowing on a Brazier. In this painting, three men sit in an outdoor setting, each with identical facial features. The viewer can imagine a gloomy, otherworldly atmosphere.

Another painting, Magdalene with the Smoking Flame, depicts Mary Magdalen as a young woman. The scene is lit only by a single candle. The flame flickers partially hidden by the arms of the woman, but its presence draws the viewer’s attention. The painting is currently held by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

La Tour’s daytime paintings are also characterized by a swift style and a clear, cold light. They are a reflection of the mysticism and stoicism of his time.

Mystical night scenes

Among the most renowned French artists of the 17th century, Georges de La Tour has been associated with candlelit night scenes. His work is characterized by an extraordinary capacity for observation. His paintings have a unique spiritual character, which has been identified as having been inspired by Caravaggio.

The first period of La Tour’s career is characterized by a style reminiscent of the painting of Hendrick Terbrugghen (1588-1629). The second period is a period of personal realism. This is marked by greater stylization and a tendency toward more realistic genre scenes.

There is little evidence of what La Tour learned during his early training. However, it is possible that he began his apprenticeship with Alphonse de Rambervilliers around 1605. In any case, La Tour received substantial court patronage in France. He was appointed a painter in ordinary to the king, and he executed works for Cardinal Richelieu (reigned 1585-1642) and Henri II, duc de Lorraine.

In the late 1630s, the French overtook the duchy of Lorraine, and Georges de La Tour was exposed to northern Caravaggio followers. The artist’s paintings reflect the renewed religious importance of the region after the Thirty Years’ War.

The paintings of Georges de La Tour are generally classified into daylight and night-time scenes. During his day-time career, the artist produced more than 100 paintings. He was a successful artist with royal patronage in Paris, where he lived in the Louvre.

The night-time period of his career is marked by La Tour’s fascination with the way light can cast everything beyond its ambit into darkness. His lighting effects are reminiscent of the works of C.’aravaggio, and he often included the source of light in his paintings.

In the light of this knowledge, it is clear that Georges de La Tour is an important and influential figure in French art. His works were presented to the public through extensive catalogues. These catalogues have played a significant role in the presentation of his work to scholars.

Today, the Georges de La Tour museum in Vic-sur-Seille, in the duchy of Lorraine, contains several of his works. It also houses a painting by his hand.


During the 16th and 17th centuries, Georges de La Tour was one of the leading exponents of Caravaggism. His nocturnal light effects, which are thought to have been inspired by Caravaggio’s technique, are among his most famous works. However, he did not develop the genre as a formal art style. Instead, he simplified forms by using contrasts of shade and light. He also painted a variety of religious scenes.

Georges de La Tour was born in Vic-sur-Seille, France, in 1593. He was the second child of a baker and a mason. His father chose his profession from his ancestors, and was a member of the artisanal class of the Duchy of Lorraine.

The first child, Philipp la Tour, was born in 1619. The family lived in the city of Vic, which was a large market town in the independent duchy of Lorraine. It was also the seat of the archbishopric of Metz.

At the age of 24, Georges married Diane le Nerf, a descendant of a noble family. After the birth of their first child, they moved to Luneville, where they became prosperous. They had ten children.

When the French occupied the area in the late 1630s, La Tour’s renown in Lorraine continued. Henri II, duc de Lorraine commissioned important pictures from him. His works reflect the stoicism of the era. Unlike other Baroque peers, his paintings often deal with life in his own town, with themes that include religious subjects and genre scenes.

Some of La Tour’s most celebrated works include “The Newborn” and “Saint Sebastian mourned by St. Irene.” Those two pieces were early copies, but many others were created after La Tour’s death.

Georges de La Tour’s work is displayed in the best art museums in the world. He was also the official court painter to Louis XIII of France. He was a major contributor to the Baroque movement. He was one of the most successful painters of his time. He was also known for his nocturnal light effects, which are usually a candle, a torch or a hidden source of light.