St John the Baptist by Matthias Stom
St John the Baptist by Matthias Stom

St John the Baptist

St John the Baptist c1630-50 by Dutch Painter Matthias Stom (1600 – sometime after 1652) a Dutch Golden Age Painter, considered as one of the masters of Utrecht Caravaggism (Baroque period artist influenced by the art of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio 1571 – 1610).

This is a portrait of a young John the Baptist dressed in simple attire of a white shirt and orange robe, with his head bent down slightly.

He is being illuminated from the Heavenly light above, while holding a white bowl in his right hand and a staff in his left hand that is leaning against his left shoulder with a banner tied at the top with words printed on it

This is a retouched digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image.

Info Below Derived From Wikipedia.org

Not much is known of Matthias, and from the information that is available, much of it is speculation.

It is believed that he was a Dutch, but he may have been Felmish the family name Stom for which he is known during his lifetime was a Flemish name that was common in the Southern Netherlandish of the Dutch Republic of the time.

It is believed that he was a student of Dutch Golden Age Painter Gerard van Honthorst (1592 – 1656), due to the similarity of their styles; but this is open to debate as Honthorst did not return from Italy until 1620; which would make it unlikely that he was an apprentice at the age of 20 years old.

Matthias work was most likely influenced by the non Italian followers of Italian Painter Caravaggio [Michelangelo Merisi (Michele Angelo Merigi or Amerighi) da Caravaggio 1571 – 1610], but his compositions differed from the Northern Caravaggisti’s preference for humorous, and sometimes scabrous genre scenes and elaborate decorative allegories; in favor of stories from the bible.

During his career he worked in various locations throughout Italy and enjoyed the patronage of many religious institution and of prominent members of the nobility; producing some 200 surviving works of art, that depicts stories from the New and Old Testament, with a focus on Saints and to a lesser degree scenes from classical history, mythology and genre scenes.

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