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Judgment of Solomon

Valentin de Boulogne French

Not on view

This rethinking of the picture now at the Louvre (on view in this exhibition) has puzzled scholars. At the very least, it testifies to the fame of that work. But the changes also indicate the artist’s growing interest in clarity of exposition through gesture and facial expression—ideas he shared with his compatriot Nicolas Poussin. The carefully articulated pose and commanding gesture of Solomon are especially telling.

The picture may be the one that the diamond thief/connoisseur Fabrizio Valguarnera purchased from another collector/dealer in 1631 and asked Valentin to touch up. (Valguarnera used paintings to launder his stolen jewels.)

Judgment of Solomon, Valentin de Boulogne (French, Coulommiers-en-Brie 1591–1632 Rome), Oil on canvas

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