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June 4, 2005

An unknown painting by French master Georges de La Tour surfaces

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Only about twenty paintings by the great artist are known to exist in the world.

The newly discovered work, "Saint Jerome Reading a Letter" (above), was found in a Madrid mansion after hanging in offices unnoticed for decades.

Jose Milicua, a member of the board of the Prado museum and an emeritus professor of art history, said he realized the work was a La Tour immediately upon first seeing it.

La Tour, born in 1593 in Vic–sur–Seille in northEastern France, was a renowned painter of religious subjects, best known for his dramatic use of light effects in night scenes and his radically simplified compositions.

He was a court painter to Louis XIII.

Many of his works were destroyed during a sacking of the French town of Luneville in 1638 and he was quickly forgotten after his death in 1652.

Only when German expert Hermann Voss began uncovering his works in the early 1900s did recognition of his mastery begin to grow.

[via Ciaran Giles and the Associated Press]

June 4, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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