Thursday, January 19, 2006

Today's discovery

Painting by
Georges de La Tour - The Penitent Magdelene (c1643-44)

"Georges de La Tour (1593-1652) was born in the Duchy of Lorraine, probably travelled to Italy and saw Lorraine conquered by France in 1630. By 1638-39, he was working in Paris as Peintre Ordinaire du Roi and had an apartment in the Louvre.

His paintings are luminous tableaux. In The Penitent Magdalene ( c1642-44), a woman with long, straight black hair sits by a table in the pale light of a slender flame burning in a glass. There are weighty tomes on the table, a cross, a scourge. She has taken a break from flagellating herself - though her shoulders and upper back are bared - and sits with her face in her hand and a skull on her lap, gazing into the light. The light catches her arm, the skull, her bare knee.
What makes his paintings so entrancing is their light, comparable to that of other 17th-century painters, such as Vermeer and the young Velázquez, and its source, Caravaggio. His paintings are minimalist dramas in which the soul is bared by the light of a candle."

Taken from here.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is indeed a very fine painting, clor and ambientwise. Congratulations for the choice (of this and of almost all the other paintings

Anonymous said...

Fantastic how the girl looks "modern", don't you agree? Beautiful!