Le Nain brothers

(Antoine, 1588-1648; Louis, c. 1593-1648; Mathieu, c. 1607-1677)
   The Le Nain brothers were painters from Laon, where their father Isaac owned property. Scholarship on these individuals is complicated by the fact that they often collaborated on commissions, which has made it difficult to identify the contributions of each. Also, they signed their works only by surname and only their paintings from the 1640s are firmly dated. In the late 1620s, the Le Nain were in Paris where Mathieu is documented in 1633 as the city's official painter. There, the Le Nain were among the artists who established the French Academy in 1648. Antoine and Louis died in that year, two days from each other. In 1652, Mathieu was named painter to the king and, in 1662, he was granted the title of Cavalier of the Order of St. Michael, a title he lost for his inability to prove his birth into nobility.
   In spite of the problems of attribution posed by the Le Nain's collaboration, there are three main styles that emerge in the body of works they left. One is a group of small pictures on copper rendered with strong colors that portrays bourgeois individuals in their homes. These are normally given to Antoine, as in the case of the Musical Gathering of 1648 (Paris, Louvre). To Louis are attributed the peasant scenes with subdued colors that relate to the work of the Bamboccianti, a group of Dutch painters led by Pieter van Laer, called Bamboccio, who were active in Italy and specialized in genre scenes. Louis would have become acquainted with the Bamboccianti during his stay in Rome in 1626-1630, or in Paris in 1626 when Laer visited briefly. Of the works given to Louis, the best-known is the Peasant Family in an Interior (1645-1648; Paris, Louvre), a scene that depicts the working class in all its dignity. The final group of paintings, of military officers, is usually ascribed to Mathieu as he was a lieutenant in the Parisian militia. One such work is La Tabagie of 1643 in the Louvre. Barring the difficulties in Le Nain scholarship, the brothers stand out in the history of French art for having popularized genre in the region and for providing a refreshing contrast to the classicist renderings of their French contemporaries.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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  • Le Nain brothers — French painters. By 1630 the three brothers Antoine (с 1600–1648), Louis (с 1600–1648), and Mathieu (с 1607–1677) had established a workshop together in Paris. They are said to have worked in harmony, often collaborating on the same picture. Most …   Universalium

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  • Náin —  / Nain    The son of Grór of the royal line of Durin s Folk.    The grandson of King Dáin I of Durin s Folk. Náin s father was Dáin s youngest son Grór. Náin was slain at the Battle of Azanulbizar, but after his death the lines of Grór s two… …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

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  • Le Nain family —    noted family of painters    A family of 17th century painters consisting of three brothers, Antoine (ca. 1588 1648), Louis (1593 1648), and Mathieu (1607 77). Known especially for their scenes of peasant life, they imbued their works with such …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Le Nain — /leuh naonn / Antoine /ahonn twannn / ( the Elder ), 1588? 1648, and his two brothers Louis /lwee/ ( the Roman ), 1593? 1648, and Mathieu /mann tyue /, 1607 77, French painters. * * * …   Universalium

  • Le Nain — /leuh naonn / Antoine /ahonn twannn / ( the Elder ), 1588? 1648, and his two brothers Louis /lwee/ ( the Roman ), 1593? 1648, and Mathieu /mann tyue /, 1607 77, French painters …   Useful english dictionary

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