Georges de La Tour was a French Baroque painter, who spent most of his working life in the Duchy of Lorraine, which was temporarily absorbed into France between 1641 and 1648. He painted mostly religious chiaroscuro scenes lit by candlelight.
La Tour's educational background remains somewhat unclear, but it is assumed that he travelled either to Italy or the Netherlands early in his career. His paintings reflect the Baroque naturalism of Caravaggio, but this probably reached him through the Dutch Caravaggisti of the Utrecht School and other Northern (French and Dutch) contemporaries. In particular, La Tour is often compared to the Dutch painter Hendrick Terbrugghen.
La Tour's s early work shows influences from Caravaggio, probably via his Dutch followers. He is best known for the nocturnal light effects which he developed much further than his artistic predecessors had done, and transferred their use in the genre subjects in the paintings of the Dutch Caravaggisti to religious painting in his. He often painted several variations on the same subjects, and his surviving output is relatively small.
In 1620 he established his studio in her quiet provincial home-town of Lunéville, part of the independent Duchy of Lorraine which was absorbed into France, during his lifetime, in 1641. He painted mainly religious and some genre scenes. He was given the title "Painter to the King" (of France) in 1638, and he also worked for the Dukes of Lorraine in 1623–4.
Georges de La Tour and his family died in 1652 in an epidemic in Lunéville. After his death at Lunéville in 1652, La Tour's work was forgotten until rediscovered by Hermann Voss, a German scholar, in 1915; some of La Tour's work had in fact been confused with Vermeer, when the Dutch artist underwent his own rediscovery in the nineteenth century.
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