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Newborn Baby (Christmas)

Painting, 1648, 76×91 cm

Description of the artwork «Newborn Baby (Christmas)»

About any of the works of Georges de Latour was said all the excitement is about, as "Newborn". Written in the mid seventeenth century, painting not found much response among his contemporaries, but the nineteenth century raised it higher than it could count Latour. First in the XIX century on the painting enthusiastically wrote the positivist Hippolyte Ten, and the name of the author of "Newborn" he was not known – Ten believed that the painting belongs to someone from a little-known Dutch. And it is that rare case when no pattern is perceived through the prism of the glory of the artist, and Vice versa: from glory pattern begins a gradual return to the audience the name and fame of the almost forgotten author.

Lorraine master of the XVII century, Georges de La tour was completely forgotten in the next century and, who knows, if it were not for the lasting impression that produces him anonymous until the XIX century painting "Newborn" may the name of Latour and would not be returned to the offspring, and the master himself would not have been one of the most coveted and expensive artists at auction of the twentieth and twenty-first century.

Directly opposite the viewer, with downcast eyes Dale, sits touching a young woman with a baby on her lap. We see with what skill written her arms and the arrangement of fingers understand exactly how she's holding the baby – quite clumsily and at the same time gently, like a priceless relic. The erroneous and gentle face expresses the greatest surprise of the fait accompli: the person was born.

To the left an elderly woman (perhaps a young mother or a midwife) looks at the mother and baby with an expression of restrained, wise fatigue. Her gesture can be interpreted in two ways. On the one hand, she covers her hand a candle – that it is not blown out by the draught or to close the light is not blinding. On the other, so it looks like in a religious painting, the gesture of blessing.

"Newborn" Latour written at the crossroads of genre and religious paintings. Many researchers see in household stage a biblical plan, identifying depicted women with the Virgin Mary and her mother, of the Holy righteous Anna. In the newborn seen non-trivial and very different from any of the canons, the image of the Christ child, hence the second name of the painting is "Christmas". Anyway, contemplation of the "Newborn" creates the greatest sense of inner peace. It's like the world froze in fact that just happened. If we agree that we have before us a biblical scene, will have to admit that Latour has reached the greatest expression, without beating the angels, halos and Golden radiance. To be honest, many of the canonical images of Christmas caress an eye to picturesque perfection, but have no emotional response. On the contrary, the picture Latour makes the heart skip a beat. "It's a forced charm, fascinating and captivating"– admitted to irresistible effect of the "Newborn" Emile Zola.

Incredible, especially for the seventeenth century, the realism of the image baby. Not a "little man" from medieval icons, not chubby angel-cherubs of the Renaissance paintings – in front of us is a newborn, shown in profile. He has a distinctive slightly swollen eyelids (the result of the passage of the birth canal), a snub nose and a raised upper lip – the way nature adapts physiologically babies for breastfeeding. Latour himself was the father of ten children and, of course, could not know. But knowing and seeing – one, and so to allow the physiology to the art – it was bold, and new.

Author: Anna Yesterday
I like25 To the selection18
About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene, Religious scene

Style of art: Baroque

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1648

Size: 76×91 cm

Artwork in selections: 18 selections