OIL PAINTING: Job mocked by his wife, c.1630-1639
There was a change in La Tour's style from the morbidity and mystery of such pictures as the penitent Magdalen contemplating a skull and a monk watching over his dead or dying companion, to works of a much calmer and more distilled air. The transitional paintings , also datable to the 1630s, are Job Mocked by his Wife at Epinal and the so-called 'Woman with the Flea' at Nancy.
The composition of the Job is immediately striking. There is the same flickering movement that is found in the Payment of Dues, even though there are only two figures. It is derived from Bellange's etching of The Annunciation. an unexpected source, especially when it is considered that The Annunciation by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
was already in the ducal collection at Nancy by 1616 (this much-damaged picture is now in the Musee des Beaux-Arts at Nancy where it is accepted by most authorities as authentic). No influence on La Tour is discernible in the Caravaggio, although it is virtually certain that he knew it.