St. Thomas, also called Saint with a Pike (1625 – 1630) by Georges de la Tour

St. Thomas, also called Saint with a Pike - Georges de la Tour - 1625 - 1630

Artwork Information

TitleSt. Thomas, also called Saint with a Pike
ArtistGeorges de la Tour
Date1625 - 1630
Dimensions61 x 69 cm
Art MovementTenebrism
Current LocationLouvre, Paris, France

About St. Thomas, also called Saint with a Pike

The artwork titled “St. Thomas, also called Saint with a Pike,” is an oil on canvas painting by artist Georges de la Tour, created between the years 1625 and 1630. Embodying the Tenebrism art movement, this religious painting measures 61 by 69 centimeters. The artwork is part of the prestigious collection housed at the Louvre in Paris, France, where it remains accessible to the public for viewing and appreciation.

The painting features a half-length portrait of a man who is traditionally identified as St. Thomas, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. This figure is depicted holding a pike in one hand and a book in the other, possibly alluding to his martyrdom and his status as a learned Apostle, respectively. The painting is marked by the dramatic contrast between light and dark that is characteristic of Tenebrism, with a concentrated light source illuminating the man’s face and hands, thus drawing attention to the expressions and elements central to the painting’s religious theme. St. Thomas’s resolute gaze, paired with his firm grip on the pike and book, portrays a sense of steadfast faith and determination.

Georges de la Tour’s command of chiaroscuro—an effect of contrasted light and shadow—adds a profound depth to the painting, creating a sense of volume and space that lends the figure a tangible presence. The artwork’s intense focus on the emotional and psychological state of St. Thomas reflects the broader cultural and spiritual preoccupations of the 17th century, making it a vital example of Tenebrism’s impact on European art during this time.

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