Matthias Stom

1600 - 1650

Matthias Stom or Matthias Stomer was a Dutch, or possibly Flemish, painter who is only known for the works he produced during his residence in Italy. He was influenced by the work of non-Italian followers of Caravaggio in Italy, in particular his Dutch followers often referred to as the Utrecht Caravaggists, as well as by Jusepe de Ribera and Peter Paul Rubens. He did not share the other Northern Caravaggisti's preference for humorous, and sometimes scabrous, genre scenes and elaborate decorative allegories but favored stories from the bible instead. He worked in various locations in Italy where he enjoyed the patronage of religious institutions as well as prominent members of the nobility.
Whereas in the past the artist was usually referred to as Stomer, it is now believed that his actual name was Stom, as this is the name he used as his signature. It was suggested before that his name 'Stom', which means 'dumb' in Dutch, was given to the artist as a nickname on the assumption that he suffered from this disability. However, there is no evidence for this thesis.
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