Little known but immensely important in French 17th-century painting, these three artist brothers — Antoine, Louis, and Mathieu — have never been the subjects of a major exhibition in the United States, until now.
For the first time in the United States, wonderfully beautiful works from brothers Antoine, Louis, and Mathieu Le Nain are subjects of a tantalizing exhibition at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Part of this absence in the States can be attributed to the shroud of mystery that surrounds the lives and careers of the men.

Le Nain, “Peasant Interior with an Old Flute Player,” circa 1642, oil on canvas, (c) Kimbell Art Museum 2016

“Little is known of their lives, and the attribution of their paintings to the hands of individual brothers has been hotly debated,” the museum writes. “The exhibition debuts new research concerning the authorship, dating, and meaning of their works. It is accompanied by the results of a major study by the conservation departments of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Kimbell Art Museum in cooperation with the Musée du Louvre.”
The exhibition will feature some 40 paintings by the brothers, which display their full range of subjects, production, and artistic evolution. Among the included works are altarpieces, private devotional paintings, portraits, and others. The exhibition opened on May 22 and will show through September 11.
To learn more, visit the Kimbell Art Museum.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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