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Matthias Stom[er]
Birth Date: 
Death Date: 
Few seventeenth-century documents comment on Stomer's life or works. Those contemporary sources that do exist consistently give the artist's name as "Stom:' although he is traditionally referred to as "Stomer." A reference of 1630-32 records that Matteo Stom, fiamengo pittore, di anni 30 (Matthias Stom, Flemish painter, thirty years old), was living in the parish of San Nicola in Arcione in Rome. From this it can be deduced that Stomer was a northern artist, who, born around 1600, had established himself in the Eternal City by 1630. Stomer's stylistic indebtedness to the art of both the Utrecht Caravaggists (Gerard van Honthorst, Dirck van Baburen, and Hendrick ter Brugghen) and various Antwerp artists suggests that he was born and trained in southern Holland. Later documents, such as the 1648 inventory of the collection of Don Antonio Ruffo, duke of Messina, place Stomer in Sicily, where he seems to have moved permanently sometime after 1632, following a stay of undetermined length in Naples. The hallmark of Stomer's art is his personal interpretation of the Caravaggesque idiom. This stylistic vocabulary, learned initially from the Northern followers of Caravaggio and then experienced firsthand in Rome, was further enhanced by Stomer's access to the later works of Caravaggio decoMting churches in Naples and Sicily. Of Stomer's surviving works only the Saint Isidore Agrico/a of 1641, formerly in the church of Caccamo near Palermo, is securely dated. Consequently, the chronology of his paintings has been established largely on the basis of their internal evidence.