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Concert with a Bas-Relief

Valentin de Boulogne French

Not on view

The traditional triad of music, wine, and love is the basis of a meditation—for which the viewer’s participation is solicited—on the transient pleasures of life, poignantly reflected in the melancholic expression of the youth. The company is gathered around an ancient fragment with a relief of the wedding of Peleus to the sea-goddess Thetis, which set in motion the events leading to the Trojan War. Erudition, lyricism, and poetry replace the burlesque normally associated with concert pictures.

This haunting masterpiece was one of eight works by Valentin that belonged to Cardinal Jules Mazarin, chief minister to Louis XIV.

Concert with a Bas-Relief, Valentin de Boulogne (French, Coulommiers-en-Brie 1591–1632 Rome), Oil on canvas

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