Georges de La Tour

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La Tour, Georges de

(zhôrzh də lä to͞or), 1593–1652, French painter. By 1618 he was settled at Lunéville, in his native Lorraine. He bore the title of painter to the king in 1639. La Tour painted religious and genre pictures, many of which show the influence of Dutch modifications of Caravaggio's style. La Tour's early works (1620s) include The Fortune Teller (Metropolitan Mus.) and St. Jerome (Stockholm), both minutely descriptive. A transitional painting, Job and His Wife (Épinal), is an early example of La Tour's nocturnal scenes, in which forms are dramatically illuminated by a candle or a hidden light source. In his later works (c.1640–1652), La Tour discarded extraneous detail and reduced figures to simple, sculptural forms rendered in warm colors. Characteristic later paintings are Repentant St. Peter (Cleveland Mus.), Christ and St. Joseph in the Carpenter's Shop (Louvre), The Hurdy-Gurdy Player (Nantes), and St. Sebastian Mourned by St. Irene (Berlin). In 1974 the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. purchased his Magdalen of the Mirror for an estimated $1.5 million.


See study by S. M. M. Furness (1949).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

La Tour, Georges de


Born Mar. 19, 1593, in Vicsur-Seille, Lorraine; died Jan. 30, 1652, in Lunéville, Lorraine. French painter.

La Tour’s style developed under the influence of Caravaggio and the Dutch (Utrecht) Caravaggists. Among his early works were paintings depicting scenes from everyday life, including The Sharper (c. 1625, Landry Collection, Paris) and Catching Fleas (1620’s, Museum of Fine Arts, Nancy). The central emotional element in La Tour’s pictures, which are executed primarily in colors ranging from cinnabar to brown, is the steady radiance of a candle or torch that disperses the gloomy darkness. His religious compositions, characterized by simplification of forms, noble restraint of emotions, and a profoundly contemplative mood, are reminiscent of scenes from everyday life (for example, The Newborn, or The Nativity, c. 1630, Museum of Fine Arts, Rennes; Joseph the Carpenter, 1640’s, Louvre, Paris). La Tour was completely forgotten after his death and was only rediscovered in the early 20th century.


Nemilova, I. S. Zhorzh de latur. Leningrad-Moscow, 1958.
Pariset, F. G. Georges de la Tour. Paris, 1948.
Georges de la Tour, Orangerie de Tuilerie. Exposition, 10 mai-25 septembre 1972. Paris, 1972.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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In preparation for the 1996-97 exhibition 'Georges de La Tour and his World' at the National Gallery in Washington and the Kimbell, I undertook, with then assistant conservator Michael Gallagher and Dr Tony Chang at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithershurg, Maryland, two autoradiographic studies of two paintings in the Kimbell collection by La Tour: The Cheat with the Ace of Clubs (Fig.
* Georges de la Tour used two kinds of lighting in his pictures.
Instead, artists like Georges de la Tour trained apprentices.
The building contains fine art and armoury collections of national importance and houses Stockton's most famous painting, the Dice Players by Georges de la Tour.
Georges de la Tour earned his living painting the kinds of pictures his clients wanted.
In these different ways, artistic ideas gradually spread and eventually led to Georges de la Tour painting his picture, The Cheat with the Ace of Clubs.
The Labour group supported by the Lib Dem Group on Stockton Council have agreed to send The Dice Players painting by Georges De La Tour overseas to Australia to be placed in galleries in Melbourne and Sydney.
The pounds 1.2m 'The Dice Players' by Georges De la Tour, is usually on display in Preston Hall Museum.
Stockton Council has been asked to loan out the Dice Players by Georges De La Tour for the exhibition which will open in November in the New South Wales Gallery in Sydney and move on next June to the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.
Yang's use of ambient light to the candlelight illumination used by 17th-century French artist Georges de la Tours in paintings such as "Joseph the Carpenter," which shows the faces of Joseph and the child Jesus beautifully illuminated in the darkness by a single candle.