Théophile Thoré-Bürger

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Theophile Thore-Burger photographed by Nadar (c. 1865) Thore-Burger by Nadar.JPG
Théophile Thoré-Bürger photographed by Nadar (c. 1865)

Étienne-Joseph-Théophile Thoré (better known as Théophile Thoré-Bürger) (23 June 1807 30 April 1869) was a French journalist and art critic. He is best known today for his rediscovery of the work of painter Johannes Vermeer.

Art critic person who specializes in evaluating art

An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting and evaluating art. Their written critiques or reviews contribute to art criticism and they are published in newspapers, magazines, books, exhibition brochures and catalogues and on web sites. Some of today's art critics use art blogs and other online platforms in order to connect with a wider audience and expand debate about art.

Johannes Vermeer 17th-century Dutch painter

Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch Baroque Period painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. He was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime but evidently was not wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.



Thoré-Bürger was born in La Flèche, Sarthe. His career as art critic started in the 1830s, but he was also active as a political journalist. In March 1848 he founded La Vraie République, a newspaper that was soon banned by Louis-Eugène Cavaignac. A year later, in March 1849, he founded another newspaper, Le Journal de la vraie République; that too was soon banned. Thoré-Bürger went into exile to Brussels. He continued publishing articles, now under the pseudonym William Bürger. He only returned to France after the amnesty of 1859. He died in Paris ten years later.

La Flèche Subprefecture and commune in Pays de la Loire, France

La Flèche is a town and commune in the French department of Sarthe, in the Pays de la Loire region in the Loire Valley. It is the sub-prefecture of the South-Sarthe, the chief district and the chief city of a canton, and the second most populous city of the department. The city is part of the Community of communes of the Pays La Flèche. The inhabitants of the town are called the La Flèchois. It is classified as a country of art and history.

Louis-Eugène Cavaignac French general and politician

Louis-Eugène Cavaignac was a French general who put down a massive rebellion in Paris in 1848, known as the June Days Uprising. This was a 4-day riot against the Provisional Government, in which Cavaignac was the newly appointed Minister of War, but soon had to be granted dictatorial powers in order to suppress the revolt. By adopting ruthless methods, he achieved his objective, though some have claimed that he spent too long preparing for the operation, allowing the mob to strengthen their defences. He received the thanks of parliament, but failed to be elected president, losing heavily to Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte.

Brussels Capital region of Belgium

Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita. It covers 161 km2 (62 sq mi), a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people.

Today, Thoré-Bürger is best known for rediscovering the work of Johannes Vermeer and several other prominent Dutch artists, such as Frans Hals (he was the first to describe the portrait of Malle Babbe ), Carel Fabritius, and others. Thoré-Bürger's interest in Vermeer began in 1842 when he saw the View of Delft in the Mauritshuis of The Hague. Vermeer's name was wholly forgotten at the time; Thoré-Bürger was so impressed with the View of Delft that he spent the years before his exile searching for other works by the painter. He would eventually publish descriptions and a catalogue of Vermeer's work, although many of the paintings he attributed to the master were later proven to have been executed by others.

Frans Hals 17th-century painter from the Northern Netherlands

Frans Hals the Elder was a Dutch Golden Age painter, normally of portraits, who lived and worked in Haarlem. He is notable for his loose painterly brushwork, and he helped introduce this lively style of painting into Dutch art. Hals played an important role in the evolution of 17th-century group portraiture.

<i>Malle Babbe</i> Painting of a Haarlem woman by Frans Hals

Malle Babbe is a painting by the Dutch Golden Age painter Frans Hals, painted between 1633 and 1635 and now in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. The painting has also been titled as Hille Bobbe or the Witch of Haarlem. It was traditionally interpreted as a tronie, or genre painting in a portrait format, depicting a mythic witch-figure. The painting is now often identified as a genre-style portrait of a specific individual from Haarlem, known as Malle Babbe, who may have been an alcoholic or suffered from a mental illness.

Carel Fabritius painter from the Northern Netherlands

Carel Pietersz. Fabritius was a Dutch painter. He was a pupil of Rembrandt and worked in his studio in Amsterdam. Fabritius, who was a member of the Delft School, developed his own artistic style and experimented with perspective and lighting. Among his works are A View of Delft (1652), The Goldfinch (1654), and The Sentry (1654).

Selected publications

Théodore Rousseau French painter (1812-1867)

Étienne Pierre Théodore Rousseau was a French painter of the Barbizon school.

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Published posthumously

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