Matthias Stom

Old Womna with a Candle

Oil on canvas, 85 x 71 cm.
Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia
Woman with a Candle, Matthias Stom

Matthias STOM (STOMER)

The earliest known reference to Stom (wrongly called Stomer in modern literature) dates from 1630, when he was living in the same house in Rome that the Utrecht painter Paulus Bor occupied about five years earlier. About 1632 Stom went to Naples, and in the 1640s he was active in Palermo and elsewhere in Sicily. Antonio Ruffo, the nobleman in Messina for whom Rembrandt painted "Aristotle with a Bust of Homer" in 1653, purchased three works by Stom between 1646 and 1649. Both the name Stom and the usual description of him as "fiamingo" indicate that he was Flemish, not Dutch. He specialized in exaggerated Caravaggesque effects of light and shadow, with leathery surfaces suited to his frequent representation of elderly characters.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art website