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Georges de La Tour and His World Hardcover – October 30, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: National Gallery Washington; First Edition edition (October 30, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300069480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300069488
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 9.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,257,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
That only taxes and death are certain would sum up what we know for sure about GEORGES du Mesnil DE LA TOUR AND HIS WORLD. Just as his native Lorraine lost its independence to France, so was he factored out of the art world during the 250 some years after he died in 1652. His "flea catcher"; "hurdy-gurdy player," variously mistaken as the work of 17th-century Spanish masters Herrera the Elder, Maino, Murillo, Rivera, Velazquez, and Zurbaran; and my favorite, Jacques Callot-type "newborn child" have been recognized as the most beloved of his art of Dutch- and Flemish-type earthy realism and luminously softened colors, eerily flickering light and spectacular lighting effects, finely drafted clothing and hair, highly focused and tensely concentrated mood, and minimal expressions, forms and gestures subtly cluing character. He excelled in not only the theatrically controlled daylight manner, with the henpecked "old man" and thin-lipped "old woman" of the piercing eyes and the careworn "old peasant couple eating" in worn clothing with pulled stitches accented by light brushstrokes and rubbed-thin paint, but also the deeply shadowed and dramatically night-time style, with "denial of St Peter" and "dream of St Joseph.Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jill Malter on January 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book shows thirty great paintings by what I consider the second-best French painter of the seventeenth century (to me, but to very few others, Simon Vouet was the best).

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adele Chatelain on November 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of my very favorite artists. When I was a teenager, living in Detroit, on Saturdays I used to go to the Detroit Institute of Arts to see Georges de La Tour's 'Girl with a Candle' ; a small painting that really spoke to my heart and soul. I finally bought a book of his paintings.
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By Tim W. Foster on June 18, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable!
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JR Cody on January 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been ad admirer of Georges de la Tour for years. I have seen his works in Museums. I was anxious to have a print of my own. I have had experience hanging prints and photos in local museums and have an Art History degree. I mention this just to let you know that I understand Chiarosuro technique. Surely I am not attempting to match the technique of an oil classic. However I feel the print that was purchased by my husband via Art.com is too dark.
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.
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