For the first time in my brief but intense life as a Old Masters copyist, I attempted a masterpiece by Georges de la Tour. "La buona ventura", or "The Fortune teller"(1630). The very light palette adopted for the painting taught me a lot regarding the use and the difficult relations of colors like red, pink, orange and violet mastered by De la Tour with great confidence herein. His attention at the details of the clothes, the jewels and most of all at the expressions of the characters, evidences the excellent value of the pictorial drafting, one of those in which the artist employed the maximum of his mastery. There's still a lot to learn by this great Master....
"The painting catches a moment in which a young man of some wealth is having his fortune told by the old woman at right; she takes the coin from his hand, not only in payment, but as part of the ritual in which she will cross his hand with it. Most or all of the women portrayed are gypsies, and, furthering the stereotype of the time, they are depicted as thieves. As the young man is engrossed in the fortune-telling—an act which, if discovered, would have repercussions for both him and the gypsies—the leftmost woman is stealing the coin purse from his pocket, while her companion in profile has a hand ready to receive the loot. The pale-faced girl on the boy's left is less clearly a gypsy, but is also in on the act as she cuts a medal worn by the boy from its chain. The figures in the painting are close together, as if in a play, and the composition may have been influenced by a theatrical scene (font Wikipedia)".
"The fortune-teller, young or old, alone or assisted by a companion, is addressed to people of all ages and conditions, knights of good presence, soldiers and generals, great ladies and peasants; takes in one of her, the hand of his client, points her finger at the open palm and does not look at the lines but fixes the eyes on the person who consults, of course you have to pay first and put on the gypsy hand a coin with which you, draw a cross in the palm of the customer's hand starting his ritual ".. (Fauletièr)
Here are some images of the behind the scenes, while framing the copy before presenting it to the public in occasion of a group exhibition held in a beautiful XVI century palace in the city of Paola.
More images of the details of the painting are coming!
Open the gallery by clicking on one image!