VALENTIN DE BOULOGNE
(b. 1591, Coulommier-en-Brie, d. 1632, Roma)

Biography

Moise Valentin (also called Le Valentin and Valentin de Boulogne), French Caravaggesque painter active in Rome from about 1612. His life is obscure; the name 'Moise' (the French form of Moses) by which he was called was not his Christian name (which is unknown) but a corruption of the Italian form of 'monsieur'. He did, however, have one major public commission - The Martyrdom of SS. Processus and Martinian (Vatican, 1629-30), painted for St Peter's as a pendant to Poussin's Martyrdom of St Erasmus.

About fifty works are attributed to him. They vary in subject - religious, mythological, and genre scenes and portraits - but the same models often seem to reappear in them, and all his work is marked by an impressively solemn, at times melancholic, dignity. He was one of the finest of Caravaggio's followers and one of the most dedicated, still painting in his style when it had gone out of fashion. Baglione says that he died after taking a cold bath in a fountain following a drinking bout; his death was much lamented in the artistic community.