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The Dice Players
Photo credit: Preston Park Museum & Grounds

The Dice Players c.1650

Georges de La Tour (1593–1652)

Preston Park Museum & Grounds

(bapt. Vic-sur-Seille, Lorraine [now Moselle], 14 Mar. 1593; d Lunéville, Lorraine [now Meurthe-et-Moselle], 30 Jan. 1652). French painter, active at Lunéville in the Duchy of Lorraine; it was his wife's home town and he settled there in 1620, three years after his marriage. He had a fairly successful career (his paintings were owned by Louis XIII, Cardinal Richelieu, and the Duke of Lorraine), but his name sank into oblivion after his death and it was not until the 20th century that he was rediscovered and hailed as the most inspired of Caravaggesque painters. Little is recorded of his life (although he is known to have been arrogant and unpopular with his neighbours) and it is uncertain how he gained his knowledge of Caravaggio's style. Possibly he visited Italy early in his career, but he could also have learned at second hand through a local intermediary such as Jean Le Clerc, who had worked with Saraceni in Rome and returned to Lorraine in 1622, or via painters of the Utrecht School such as Honthorst.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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