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PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Matthias Stomer
THE SUPPER AT EMMAUS
JUMP TO LOT
19

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Matthias Stomer
THE SUPPER AT EMMAUS
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Evening Sale

|
London

Matthias Stomer
AMERSFOORT NEAR UTRECHT CIRCA 1600 - AFTER 1652 (?) SICILY OR NORTHERN ITALY
THE SUPPER AT EMMAUS

Provenance

In the collection of the family of the present owner since at least c. 1960.

Catalogue Note

The subject was a favourite of Stomer’s, the disciples’ sudden recognition of Christ as he breaks the bread lending itself perfectly to the drama the artist sought to achieve in all his composition pieces. Cleopas (in the hat with scallop shell) and the unnamed disciple are instantly taken aback in shock. Stomer’s work from his Roman and early Neapolitan periods is unequivocally Caravaggesque, often to the point of exaggeration, striving to achieve the most dramatic effect possible. The silhouetting of the foremost disciple, whose outstretched arm shields the direct glow of the candle, is a conceit he had probably learned from Gerrit van Honthorst or another of the Utrecht Caravaggisti before he left for Rome in 1630. We see it, for example, in Honthorst’s Denial of St Peter from c. 1623 (Minneapolis, Institute of Arts).1

In other examples of the subject Stomer arranges his three protagonists more conventionally around the rear, left and right sides of the small table, the flame glowing naked in the centre: see, for example, those in Grenoble, Musée des Beaux-Arts and Naples, Capodimonte.2 It is an idiosyncrasy of this version that much of our view is blocked by the back of a disciple, seated at the side of the table directly in front of us, as he recoils, rising to his feet, in surprise. Wayne Franits, who has inspected this painting first-hand, dates it to the early 1630s, which is to say to the years he spent in Rome from 1630, or to the period shortly after his arrival in Naples in 1633.

1 B. Nicolson, Caravaggism in Europe, Oxford 1989, vol. I, p. 124, reproduced vol. III, fig. 1244.

2 Nicolson 1989, vol. I, p. 183, reproduced vol. III, figs 1479 and 1503.

Old Masters Evening Sale

|
London