Matthias Stomer:
        There are very few seventeenth-century documents that comment on Stomer's life or works. His artwork, although exeptional, isn't very well known compared to others in the same genre and time.  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 shows 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("Calling"). From this it can be deduced that Stomer was a northern artist who was born around 1600.  Stomer's stylistic methodology can be linked to both the art of the Caravaggists (Gerard van Honthorst, Dirck van Baburen, and Hendrick ter Brugghen) and various Antwerp artists, suggesting that he was born and trained in southern Holland("Calling"). 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("Calling").
         Stomer's art was influenced greatly by  Caravaggio and other baroque artists at the time.  His style was probably learned initially from the Northern followers of Caravaggio and then experienced firsthand in Rome, where Stomer had access to the later works of Caravaggio in churches in Naples and Sicily ("Calling").  Although Stomer is virtually unknown to many, his work displays a mastery of the underlying qualities of the Baroque era.  He didn't initiate the baroque movement like his counterpart Caravaggio, but helped bring it to new heights and splendor.

Works Cited

"The Calling of Saint Matthew."  FAMSF.$Record?...(21 Apr. 1999)
see artist info in the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, linked from other works page