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Stom, Matthias (also called Stomer)

Amersfoort (Netherlands), h.1600 - Sicily (Italy), después.1650

Little knowledge we have about this Dutch painter who settled in Italy. The first documentary reference preserved about Stom is the parish family book of 1630 and 1631 of the Roman church of San Nicola in Arcione, where it is recorded that he was thirty years old and lived on the strada dell’Olmo. Therefore, his date of birth can be placed around 1600. Traditionally, Amersfoort has been maintained as his place of birth, although no documentation has been found to confirm this information so far. His early works suggest that he received his training in Utrecht in the late-Mannerist tradition of Abraham Bloemaert (1564–1651) and Joachim Wtewael (around 1566–1638). More decisive for him, however, was the influence of the Caravaggist Gerard van Honthorst (1592–1656), who returned to Utrecht in 1621 after spending more than ten years in Italy. It is precisely this influence, which would mark the style that Stom would maintain throughout his life. In Rome, he had the opportunity to study the great altar paintings of Van Honthorst, as well as the major works of Caravaggio and his followers. In 1630, he moved to Messina, and around 1631 to Naples, where he remained until 1640. During this period, he painted for various churches. Afterwards, he moved to Sicily, probably prior to 1641, since Saint Isidore the Labourer, which he painted for the Caccamo Cathedral, is dated at that year.
His activity on the island is also documented by the paintings he performed for the churches of Palermo, Messina and Monreale, as well as by three canvases acquired by the famous collector and patron of Rembrandt, Antonio Ruffo, Duke of Messina, in 1648. Payment receipts for the painting of the Assumption of the Virgin with three Saints for the church of Santa Maria Assunta, in Chiduno (Bergamo), dated at 1652, suggest that he may have possibly moved, around 1650, at least temporarily, to the north of Italy. In this sense, special mention shall receive the fact that one of the members of a family of painters who were active in Venice and in the north of Italy at the end of the 17th century, specialising in navy battles, was called Mathäus Stom.
After his death, he fell into oblivion and his paintings were attributed to other Caravaggists, especially Van Honthorst. It was not until the beginning of the 20th century that their recovery was initiated (Posada Kubissa, T.: Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, 2009, p. 259).

Artworks (1)

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas
Oil on canvas, 1641 - 1649
Stom, Matthias


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