|Georges de la Tour, St Jerome Reading, The Royal Collection, Hampton Court, c. 1621-3, oil on canvas mounted on panel, 62 x 55 cm. Given to La Tour in 1972.|
A bit more on Georges La Tour. As a correspondent to Art History News points out:, if you want to see La Tour in this country, you have go to Hampton Court (St Jerome Reading), Leicester Art Gallery (The Choirboy, A Young Singer), or Preston Hall Museum, Stockton on Tees, (The Dice Players). Remember there are none of his works in the National Gallery.
I had the privilege of seeing all three, along with loans from Fort Worth and Dublin in a small exhibition, Georges de La Tour: Master of Candlelight, held at Compton Verney in 2007.
The curator of the exhibition, and the U.K.’s leading expert on La Tour, Christopher Wright, pulled no punches when commenting on La Tour’s omission from the canons of taste.
“At no point in his long career did [Kenneth] Clark see fit to bring La Tour into the structure of his criticism and art history. Had La Tour been included in his Civilisation, the artist would, at a stroke, have been brought to the attention of a much wider public”.
As I said in the previous La Tour post, Anthony Blunt was very keen for the NG to acquire a La Tour. This, as Wright indicates, was that despite having a solid preference for Nicolas Poussin, Blunt was not blind to the rest of the 17th century French school; Clark, however, had absolutely no interest in French 17th century painting at all.
A large blind spot for the director of one of the world’s leading museums!
Christopher Wright, “The Genius of La Tour: a lesson in the history of taste” in exhibition cat, Georges de La Tour: Master of Candlelight, Compton Verney, 2007, 33-38.