Style and Meaning Converge in Georges de La Tour’s The Magdalen with the Smoking Flame

September 28, 2019 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Whitsell Auditorium

Lynn Orr Ph.D., Executive Director, The History Museum of Hood River County

The most skilled pictorial artists capture our imagination by making stylistic choices perfectly attuned to the meaning of their images. With deftness of hand finely tuned to narrative intent, an artist can paint away the psychological space between his world and ours. Georges de La Tour’s incomparable The Magdalen with the Smoking Flame is an absorbing masterpiece that draws us into the delicious physicality of his painted realm. Join 17th-century specialist Lynn Orr for a conversation about La Tour’s artistic essay on the Magdalen. Explore how he crafts, both visually and iconographically, the persona of the New Testament’s Mary of Magdala as sanctioned by the 17th-century Catholic Church.

Purchase tickets


The Portland Art Museum is pleased to offer accommodations to ensure that our programs are accessible and inclusive. All spaces for this program are accessible by wheelchair. Assistive listening devices are also available for lectures. All restrooms have accessible stalls but no power doors. There are single-stall all-gender bathrooms available. Please ask staff for directions.

We will do our best to accommodate your needs when you arrive, however, we need 2-3 weeks advance notice for some specific requests. Please email requests to, or call 503-226-2811.

Georges de La Tour, The Magdalen with the Smoking Flame, ca. 1635–37.
Georges de La Tour (French, 1593–1652). The Magdalen with the Smoking Flame, ca. 1635–37. Oil on canvas. Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Gift of The Ahmanson Foundation, M.77.73.