Valentin de Boulogne - The Concert at the Bas-Relief [1622-25] by Gandalf’s Gallery on Flickr.
It is thought that as a young man Valentin de Boulogne travelled to Italy, where he came into contact with the Baroque painting of Caravaggio (1571–1610), whose naturalistic style he immediately adopted. Although regarded as one of the most important of the Caravaggisti, Valentin de Boulogne, who had probably trained with his father in Coulommiers (Seine-et-Marne), nevertheless retained his own distinctive character. This is evident in Concert with Bas-relief, which at first glance seems inspired entirely by the Italian master. In particular, the figures behind the table in the middle ground seem to be direct replicas from paintings by Caravaggio. In general, however, the painting style seems more somber than is characteristic of the Italian. Other parts, such as the face and bust of the young guitar player or the silvery white stocking of the lutenist on the right of the foreground, strongly stand out. The scene is set in a typical Roman dive. A block of antique marble, decorated on the front with a relief, serves the gathered musicians and singers as a table. The edges of the stone block form a V that dictates the composition of the entire work.
[Musée du Louvre, Paris - Oil on canvas, 173 x 214 cm]