Home > Our art books > XVIIth century > Georges de La Tour


Georges de La Tour

Jacques Thuillier

The author says it was necessary to ‘be on the watch, to use many twists and turns, and to say it simply, to use all the delicate tricks of piety’. One wonders what for. It is what he did to reconstruct the biography of one of the great French masters of the 17th century, together with Poussin and Lorrain. That is because there is hardly any information on Georges de La Tour (1593-1652): neither a diary nor a book of accounts, no mention of him in the correspondence of third parties. We only have the minutes of a trial in which the plaintiffs accused him of keeping too many dogs… and a few documents of this same type. They are buried under heaps of papers in the archives of Vic-sur-Seille or of Lunéville. It was only between 1863, the date on which a study in a learned magazine was published in Lorraine, and 1934 with the exhibition of Peintres de la réalité at the Orangerie, that his name finally emerged from two centuries of silence. In this book published in 1992, which quickly became a ‘must-read’, Jacques Thuillier (1928-2011) pursues this investigation that nearly resembles a police inquest. He disentangles the biographical elements, the different versions of the Vielleurs and the Madeleines, the taste for the Nuits, for reality and for half-body figures. It is a shame that the fascinating text is in such small print: that is the price to pay for it to be easy to handle…

Georges de La Tour by Jacques Thuillier, Flammarion Compact, 2013, 320 p., €35.

Georges de La Tour - Jacques Thuillier

Review published in the newsletter #301 - from 2 May 2013 to 8 May 2013

Buy that book from Amazon

Achetez cet ouvrage à La FNAC