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MADRID, 13 June 2005—A previously unknown oil painting by the French artist Georges de la Tour (1593-1652) was discovered in March in the Palacio de la Trinidad, headquarters of the Instituto Cervantes in Madrid. Cesar Antonio Molina, director of the Spanish Institue discovered the painting—now identified as undoubtedly a work by La Tour depicting Saint Jerome reading a letter. Transfered to the Prado, an attribution was later made by Professor José Milicua, an art historian and Trustee of the Prado Museum, and announced to the press on 3 June 2005.

Georges de la Tour (1593-1652): Saint Jerome Reading a Letter
Oil on canvas
Photo courtesy of Museo del Prado

The painting of Saint Jerome Reading a Letter by Georges de la Tour depicts the saint half-length, situated in the centre of the composition and reading a letter, holding a pair of pince-nez. The Prado Museum experts made their attribution based on details such as the artist's celebrated mastery of light, the free brushwork of the hair and the characteristic light touches to the picture surface made with the point of the brush, as well as through comparisons with other similar compositions. They have suggested a tentative dating for Saint Jerome Reading a Letter between 1616 to 1620.

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