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Louis Vallée

Dutch, died 1653

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Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., “Louis Vallée,” NGA Online Editions, (accessed September 21, 2023).

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The first and only document that refers specifically to Louis Vallée is the register that records his burial in Amsterdam’s Oude Kerk on May 28, 1653. According to the register, he had been living in the Warmoesstraat in Amsterdam.[1] Beyond this, nothing is known of Vallée’s biographical details. He seems to have worked mainly in the province of Holland. Between 1646 and 1652, when he signed and dated a portrait of the Druyvesteyn children of Haarlem (private collection, the Netherlands),[2] Jan Sysmus, an Amsterdam physician, mentions another group portrait that Vallée painted, comparing its style to works by Govaert Flinck (Dutch, 1615 - 1660). [3] 

Although nothing is known about Vallée’s training, his rare works, most of which are portraits or history paintings, suggest the influence of the Amsterdam painter Jacob Backer (1608–1651), and it is possible that he studied with this older master.[4] Vallée’s family origins are most likely French, as was the case with architect Simon de la Vallée (c. 1590–1642), who emigrated from Paris to The Hague, where he worked for Prince Frederik Hendrik from 1633 to 1637. It is unclear whether Louis Vallée was related to Simon de la Vallée. 

[1] Amsterdam Municipal Archives, inv. no. 1046, fol. 129v. Cited in Maarten Wurfbain, M. L. Wurfbain Fine Art, B.V., IV (Oegstgeest, 1992), 187. 

[2] Maarten Wurfbain, M. L. Wurfbain Fine Art, B.V., IV (Oegstgeest, 1992), 187.

[3] Abraham Bredius, “Het Schilderregister van Jan Sysmus, Stads-Doctor van Amsterdam,” Oud-Holland 8 (1890): 297.

[4] His works are also stylistically similar to other Amsterdam history painters, such as Bartholomeus van der Helst (c. 1613–1670) and Abraham van den Tempel (c. 1622/1623–1672). 

Arthur K. Wheelock Jr.

April 24, 2014

Artist Bibliography

Bredius, Abraham. "Het Schildersregister van Jan Sysmus, Stads-Doctor van Amsterdam, III." Oud Holland 8 (1890): 297-298.
Marguillier, Auguste. "Un artiste ignoré (Louis Vallé)." Les Arts 11 (1911): 16.
Duits, Clifford. "Louis Vallée: The Man with Only Three Paintings to His Credit.” Duits Quarterly 1, no. 4 (1964): 14-16.
Wurfbain, Maarten L. M.L. Wurfbain Fine Art: Catalogue IV. Oegstgeest, 1992: 185-187.
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