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The Fortune Teller

Georges de La Tourprobably 1630s

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

While an old gypsy crone tells his fortune, a naive youth is robbed by her accomplices, a subject popular among Caravaggesque painters throughout Europe in the 17th century. La Tour's painting can be interpreted as a genre or theatrical scene, or as an allusion to the parable of the prodigal son. It has been variously dated from about 1620 to as late as 1639. The inscription includes the name of the town where La Tour lived, Lunéville in Lorraine.

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Details

  • Title: The Fortune Teller
  • Date Created: probably 1630s
  • Physical Dimensions: w1235 x h1019 mm
  • Type: Paintings
  • External Link: MMA
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Provenance Extent: Complete
  • Provenance: ?Jean-Baptiste de Bretagne, Paris (until d. 1650; posthumous inventory, 1650, no. 14, "grand tableau peint sur thoille avecq la platte bande dorée représentant des diseuses de bonneaventure, original de La Tour," valued at 30 Livres [this painting was given one of the highest valuations in Bretagne's inventory, which included five paintings by La Tour]); ?(last) marquis de Scépeaux, château de Moulin Vieux, Asnières sur Vègre, Sarthe (until 1802; the entire château [very possibly including La Tour's "Fortune Teller"] was sold or given "fully furnished" to the Lemonnier de Lorière family); Édouard Lemonnier de Lorière, château de Moulin Vieux, Asnières sur Vègre, Sarthe (until d. 1879; inventory 1879, "un grand tableau signé G. de La Tour, représentant la Bonaventure, prisé deux cent cinquante francs"); his daughter, Mme de Gastines, château de la Denisière, near Coulans, Sarthe (until 1921); her son, Général de Gastines, La Vagotière, Degré, Sarthe (1921–d.1948); the heirs of Général de Gastines (1948–49; sold to Wildenstein for Fr 7,500,000); [Wildenstein, Paris and New York, 1949–60; sold to MMA]
  • Medium Extent: Complete
  • Inscription Extent: Complete
  • Inscription: Signed and inscribed: (upper right) G. de La Tour Fecit Luneuilla Lothar: (Lunéville Lorraine); (on young man's watch chain) AMOR (love) FIDES (faith)
  • Credit Line Extent: Complete
  • Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1960
  • Artist: Georges de La Tour (French, Vic-sur-Seille 1593–1653 Lunéville)

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