Le Nain Brothers (1598/1610-1648/77)
Part of the French Baroque Art group surrounding Jacques Callot, a collective including Georges de la Tour, were the Nain Brothers. They were three brothers born in Laon, all three bachelors and unseparable, who would always sign their works with the phrase "Le Nain". Antoine, the older brother, a little too rigid in style but with great minutia of details, has only done portraits. Mathieu, the youngest of the three, painted group scenes, such as a group of gentlemen gathered around a card table, or at the end of a dinner.
The greatest artist of the Nain Brothers was Louis (1593-1648). In the XVII century, he was the only painter to feture scenes of the the rustic life. Thanks to him, we can now witness scenes from the farmes in the Croquants region from the age of Richelieu. These are: "The country forge", "The return to Fenaison", or "Le Bapteme". Incredible potraitist, of an even better taste than Champagne, Louis Le Nain paints the characters of his rustic scenes with much sympathy and candour. His subjects are people filled with life and emotions, intelligence and domestic virtues. Louis avoided in this any trace of satire or pastoral embellishments typical to Flemish or Italian painters of the Baroque period.