Valentin de Boulogne: Beyond Caravaggio at The Met Fifth Avenue, October 7, 2016 – January 16, 2017

“This exhibition is devoted to one of the most original geniuses of French painting, Valentin de Boulogne (1591–1632). Like so many other foreign painters who settled in Rome in the early seventeenth century, Valentin was inspired by the revolutionary example of Caravaggio (1571–1610), whose work, based on the unprecedented practice of painting directly from posed models, caused a sensation and created a rift in an art world still dominated by the idealist tradition of Raphael and Michelangelo. Far from becoming merely a talented follower, Valentin sought to take realist painting beyond Caravaggio. Valentin’s originality stemmed from rethinking his subjects in terms of human experience, employing recognizably real people as his models, and engaging the viewer as an active participant. Whether the subject is a gypsy fortune-teller, a concert, or a scene from the Bible, it is imagined as an unfolding drama, with the composition cropped in unprecedented ways so that the fictive space extends beyond the frame and into the realm of the viewer.

Although Valentin achieved his fame in the Rome of Caravaggio and Bernini, his work was avidly collected in France, where, exceptionally, it was chosen to decorate King Louis XIV’s chamber at Versailles. In the midnineteenth century—when realism was once again associated with modernity—Valentin retained his position as one of the most famous French painters. Inexplicably, never before has this extraordinary artist been the subject of a monographic exhibition.” — Introductory Wall Text

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Exhibition entrance. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

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Installation view of first room of exhibition. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

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Valentin de Boulogne (French. Coulommiers-en-Brie 1591–1632 Rome). Crowning with Thorns, ca. 1613-14. Oil on canvas, 57 5/8 × 42 in. (146.4 × 106.5 cm). Private collection. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

BPK 50.005.047

Valentin de Boulogne. Cardsharps, ca. 1614-15. Oil on canvas, 37 1/4x 54 in. (94.5 x 137 cm). Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Valentin, Jean, called Valentin de Boulogne (1594-1632): David With the Head of Goliath and Two Soldiers, c.1620-1622. Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza*** Permission for usage must be provided in writing from Scala.

Valentin de Boulogne. David with the Head of Goliath, ca. 1615-16. Oil on canvas, 39 x 52 ¾ in. (99 x 134 cm). Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Valentin de Boulogne. Denial of Saint Peter, ca. 1615-17. Oil on canvas, 67 1/2 × 94 7/8 in. (171.5 × 241 cm). Fondazione di Studi di Storia dell’Arte Roberto Longhi, Florence. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

St. John the Evangelist, c. 1622-1623

Valentin de Boulogne. Saint John the Evangelist, ca. 1621–22. Oil on canvas, 38 1/4 × 53 in. (97.3 × 134.5 cm). Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The William A. Whitaker Foundation Art Fund. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Saint Marc, l'ÈvangÈliste Valentin de Boulogne (1594-1632) Versailles, ch‚teaux de Versailles et de Trianon

Valentin de Boulogne. Saint Mark, ca. 1624–26. Oil on canvas, 47 1/4 × 57 1/2 in. (120 × 146 cm). Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

56.54.1 008

Valentin de Boulogne. The Lute Player, ca. 1625–26. Oil on canvas, 50 1/2 x 39 in. (128.3 x 99.1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Walter and Leonore Annenberg Acquisitions Endowment Fund; Director’s Fund; Acquisitions Fund; James and Diane Burke and Mr. and Mrs. Mark Fisch Gifts; Louis V. Bell, Harris Brisbane Dick, Fletcher, and Rogers Funds and Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 2008. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Valentin de Boulogne (1594-1632). Paris, musÈe du Louvre. INV8246.

Valentin de Boulogne. Judgment of Solomon, ca. 1624-27. Oil on canvas, 69 5/16 x 82 11/16 in. (176 x 210 cm). Musée du Louvre, Paris. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

XIR154061 Judith (oil on canvas) by Valentin de Boulogne, (1594-1632); Musee des Augustins, Toulouse, France; Giraudon; French, out of copyright

Valentin de Boulogne. Judith with the Head of Holofernes, ca. 1626-27. Oil on canvas, 38 1/4 x 29 1/8 in. (97 x 74 cm). Musée des Augustins, Toulouse. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Valentin de Boulogne. Raffaello Menicucci, ca. 1627-28. 31 ½ x 25 5/8 in. (80 x 65.1 cm). Indianapolis Museum of Art, Delavan Smith Fund. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

Valentin de Boulogne (1594-1632). Paris, musÈe du Louvre. INV8252.

Valentin de Boulogne. Concert with Eight Figures, ca. 1628-30. Oil on canvas, 69 x 85 1/8 in. (175 x 216 cm). Musée du Louvre, Paris. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

ELC859838 St John the Baptist, 1628 - 1630 by Valentin de Boulogne, (1594-1632); (add.info.: All. Man St John the Baptist raised hand drape dress drapery lamb semi-darkness; faint light black red Creator: Valentin Jean Velentin de Boulogne Location: Santa Maria in Via Church, Macerata, Camerino, Marche, Italy); Mondadori Portfolio/Electa/Sergio Anelli; ITALIAN RIGHTS NOT AVAILABLE; French, out of copyright

Valentin de Boulogne. Saint John the Baptist, ca. 1628–29. Oil on canvas, 51 1/4 × 35 7/16 in. (130 × 90 cm). Santa Maria in Via, Camerino. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Valentin de Boulogne. Judith and Holofernes, ca. 1627-29. Oil on canvas, 41 7/8 x 55 ½ in. (106.5 x 141 cm). National Museum of Fine Arts, Valetta, Malta. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Painting, Villa Lante a Roma

Valentin de Boulogne. The Allegory of Italy, 1628-29. Oil on canvas, 131 1/8 x 96 ½ in. (333 x 245 cm). Villa Lante al Gianicolo, Institutum Romanum Finlandiae, Rome. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Installation view. Photograph by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary.

EKTA 07485 (13X18 cm)

Valentin de Boulogne. Martyrdom of Saints Processus and Martinian, 1629-30. Oil on canvas, 118 7/8 x 75 ½ in. (302 x 192 cm). Vatican Museums, Vatican City. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Valentin de Boulogne. Samson, 1631. Oil on canvas, 53 3/8 x 40 1/2 in. (135.6 x 102.8 cm). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The exhibition is organized by Keith Christiansen, the John Pope-Hennessy Chairman of the Department of European Paintings at The Met, and Annick Lemoine, author of an authoritative book on Valentin’s contemporary Nicholas Régnier.